Yesterday, I stopped at a red light and there was a man at the corner with a cardboard sign that said, “Anything helps.” I handed the gentleman crackers that I keep in my car for such occasions, and he said with a big smile, “Thank you! Do something fun today!” This caught me off guard, so I said, “I’ll try!” As I drove away, I thought to myself, “What do I have planned for fun today?” This thought led to a trail of other thoughts that ended with, “Am I really enjoying my life?”
At the beginning of each year, I start fresh and create goals and hopes for what the new year will bring. This always includes having one “Sabbath” day of each week. I heard once that a “Sabbath” can be any 24-hour period that is set apart for rest. In theory this is an easy concept to practice; in reality I struggle to regularly live this out each week. So I have to make a plan, and I follow it as much as possible, although I am constantly having to go back to square one.
The first step is to mark off the day or time. Our calendars fill up quickly. If we don’t make a plan then we will quickly be overcome by having too much to do. Put time in your schedule each week for refreshment. When people ask you to do something during this time, guard it carefully. If you already have it marked off say, “I am not available during that time.” If you have an assistant, then ask him or her to help you guard that time as well.
The next step is to find something to do that you enjoy. Pick a hobby or go back to an old one. You may read or write; you may enjoy walking or hiking; or you may garden or knit. Find something that makes you smile when you think about it. Plan to do this once a week or for a few minutes each day.
Lastly, look at your life and see who you enjoy spending time with regularly. This looks differently for everyone! Since I have no children to call my own, I have two cute members of my family, Kayley and Kara, (8-year-old twins) that I enjoy spend time with when I am feeling overwhelmed or tired. Children have a way of making you laugh by bringing out the natural wonder of life, if you let them. However this is probably not the way that a children’s pastor would feel refreshed, so find something that suits you. Go on a date with your spouse, meet up with a friend for a planned activity, or just be alone and enjoy the quietness.
This week make plans to enjoy your life! Do something fun! Ride a roller coaster, plan a vacation, sleep without setting an alarm clock… Or dare I say it…turn off your phone. Whatever you need to do, take time for refreshing your soul and breathe deeply in this life that God has given you!
This article originally appeared here.