There are many reasons to take a break from ministry to recharge the batteries and clear your head. If you know the purpose of your break before you depart then you will enjoy your time off and come back feeling refreshed. If you are unclear about the purpose of your break then you feel frustrated and you will return feeling as tired as you were when you left.
Whilst you may not have time to take weeks off, you can take a short break over a weekend or take a few days off mid-week. Here are four types of short breaks that you may take from ministry over a few days or even a week:
- Clean up – whilst this may not be everyone’s favourite break sometimes you need to take a break from ministry to clean up and take stock. If this is the type of break you are seeking then you will be most happy tucked away in your workspace with no distractions. Some people like to go through their work space or files to clean up months worth of clutter. A short clean up break will help you clear your mind at the end of busy time or to prepare for a new season in the ministry. People often take this type of break in late December or early January, but perhaps there is a better time of the year for you to take this break.
- Rest – perhaps you are running on empty and you could do with 15 hours of sleep. This won’t be a very productive break so you need to prepare to get nothing done. Some people take time off to rest then fill their days with cleaning or visiting friends then wonder why they still feel tired at the end of the break. If you are run down and tired then sleep in each day and take an afternoon nap. It can also be helpful to do some exercise in the afternoon to help get the blood flowing and oddly this will help you sleep better at night. It is important to watch what you eat when you are resting and stay away from heavy foods and caffeine.
- Visiting – sometimes you go through seasons when you don’t see anyone outside your ministry, then you are in need of a visiting break. Take a break to catch up with friends and family. Unlike the resting break, if you are visiting friends then you will fill your day with appointments to see people. Unlike the person who has shut themselves away to declutter, you want to get out and see people. You will get energy from other people but avoid people who connected with the ministry. Perhaps you need to turn off your ministry mobile and focus on the conversations of the people in front of you.
- Get away – every once in a while we need to escape by going away. Some people have found that they never fully switch off if they are in the same city as their ministry, others the same state as their ministry. Some leaders need to get away to a different culture so that it highlights the environment that they minister in. If this is your need then it is a little more expensive so save those penny’s. Perhaps there may even be someone in your ministry that owns a holiday home, caravan or tent.
Whilst you might tend to spend your holidays doing one of these types of break, we actually need all four types of breaks within our annual calendar. If you balance your time throughout the year across all four types of breaks then you will feel refreshed and prevent burn out.
Michael Hyatt has a podcast and article where he talks in more depth about knowing the purpose of your vacation, which would also be helpful to check out. Michael outlines a few important steps before you leave on a break which I encourage you to look at.
If you have any tips on taking a break please share your ideas with other by leaving a comment in the area below.
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