Lately I have been sharing posts that relate to a pastor/leader’s health and well-being. The reality is that many are not and often the groups they lead are not–in part because of the model at the top. From Ron Edmondson comes another such post from his excellent blog GRACED AGAIN which is part of my weekly reading list. – STEVE
I posted recently on what happens when I’m tired. It isn’t pretty. (See that post HERE.) I hear someone say every day “I’m so tired”. It’s epidemic it seems. There appears to be a lot of fatigue in our world these days. I know it’s true of those in ministry. Someone asked me how to deal with the issue, besides the simple answer of rest.
Here are 7 ways I have for dealing with fatigue:
Check-up – Make sure you are routinely getting medical check ups from your physician. Many health issues have fatigue as a symptom. Make sure something isn’t physically causing your fatigue.
Exercise and Weight Control – For me, this is number one. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight helps me stay energized and feel better. I wrote an extensive post about that HERE.
Watch what you eat – Junk food slows you down. Healthy foods build you up. I’m not an expert here, and don’t practice this as I should, but there are plenty who are equipped to help know what to eat. What you eat does make a difference in how you feel and most of us know what foods slow us down Learn to fill your body with foods, which help you feel more alive.
Rest - It had to be on the list. Rest is the ultimate solution to coping with fatigue. The body signals that it has reached a point where rest is needed. Sometimes a short nap or extended night’s sleep is the needed response. Sometimes NOT watching the last television show before you go to bed is a better option.
Mind-breaks – If your job requires you to think deeply, taking short mind breaks is often helpful. One reason I break to Twitter is to give me a quick break from the heaviness of thought. I also change projects throughout the day to keep my mind from wearing me out physically. Sometimes I step outside and breathe the fresh air or, depending on the type of the fatigue, even go for an afternoon run.
Preparation – Having a plan for your day and week helps to cut down on unnecessary time wasters. You’ll work smarter and feel less exhausted when you begin prepared. Take time to organize yourself for efficiency. (Read a similar post HERE.)
Prioritize – You can’t do everything. Remind yourself that you’ll do better quality work if you aren’t trying to do it all. Try to complete the most important things on your list first, before your energy is drained for the day. Say no to things someone else can do.
Leading today (actually life today) requires a lot of energy. I meet so many people who don’t have the energy they need to get through the day. I realize there are seasons in life where this is unavoidable, but we should strive to keep ourselves healthy enough to be productive and enjoy life.
What advice do you have? What slows you down? What helps your fatigue?
Which of these do you most need to implement?
For a similar thought, read my tips for managing stress HERE.