Life, in general, drains the energy right out of us. We live in a multitasking, 24 hours a day 7 days a week society. Our minds and our bodies are in a constant state of action. Some of us are even in a constant state of stress or “fight or flight” with our cortisol levels through the roof (which contributes to belly fat and no one wants that). Even when we’re resting, we’re still doing something if only with our minds.
Very rarely do we take a break from thinking. We’re constantly working on the computer, watching TV, looking at our tablets, looking at our phones, texting someone, emailing someone. It’s constant.
No matter what you do in life, whether you work outside of the home or in your home, whether you’re a mother with young children or an empty nester or a single or a newly married, we all need a time of recharging. Our minds are just not meant to go full-force all day long from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed. Day after day after day.
Imagine if we never connected our smart phones or iPhones to the wall outlet or to our computers to charge them. Imagine if we never charged our computers or laptops. Eventually, they’d go dead. What if we never drove our cars? Eventually, the battery would die and the car wouldn’t start.
We’re pretty much battery operated. We don’t go around with a constant source of electricity charging us up. We have to recharge.
So how can we do it?
- Spend some time alone doing nothing but staring into the beauty of God’s creation (your private backyard, the beach, the mountains, etc.)
- Spend time in prayer
- Spend time reading scripture
- Spend time with other fellow believers
- Experience a time of dynamic worship at church or at a Christian concert
- Spend time with your spouse (this will only work if your spouse isn’t a source of drain right now)
- Spend time with family (again, will only recharge you if these individuals don’t drain you)
- Read a book (yes, this still requires thinking, but it’s relaxing)
- Occasionally indulge in your favorite “taboo” food just for the fun of it
In a nutshell, this recharging needs to take place from a physical standpoint, a mental standpoint, and a spiritual standpoint.
If we sit at a desk all day and don’t move around much, our bodies start to go stiff on us. Our joints stop working properly and that causes aches and pains that make us feel much older than we are. The stiffer we are, the more resistant we are to do any kind of exercise.
I’ve experienced this personally this year with an extreme amount of hip problems brought on by my sedentary job and arthritis in my SI joint. My doctor said, “If you exercise every day, you won’t hurt and I won’t see you back here again.” But I was hurting too much to exercise, and I was too busy to exercise. But I knew I needed to do something and do it fast, so I started implementing a little bit of exercise each day. Now I’m trying to do more. I have found that I actually do enjoy it, and I do feel looser after I do it.
Our minds need recharging too.
Exercise is a way of recharging not only physically but mentally too. When I’m working out on my Total Gym, I’m not reading my Kindle or staring at any kind of screen. I’m doing nothing but working out. I found that when I was on my treadmill, I wasn’t mentally recharging because I was reading and that still preoccupied my mind. When I’m on my Total Gym, I’m not thinking of anything except the exercises. And it’s very refreshing.
I have a hard time shutting my brain off when I go to bed at night because I mull over the events of the day, or I start thinking about what I need to do the next day. I’ve now started trying to turn my computer off and not look at my phone or my Kindle again at least an hour before bed. I’ll read a book or I might watch some TV with my husband, but I try to just do something that doesn’t have to do with work or problems we’re dealing with or anything that requires me to think too much.
I’m an extrovert. I get recharged when I spend time with people. Regardless of your personality type, both extroverts and introverts need to recharge, and this can be done by spending time with others.
When you’re hanging out with your friends, think about plugging yourself into them to recharge, but let them plug into you to recharge, as well. You don’t want to drain someone else more than you recharge them. You may have friends who are introverts who don’t necessarily get charged up by being with a lot of people, but their one-on-one time with you can still be recharging for them.
As a writer, if all I’m doing is working all the time, I drain all my creative resources, and I have nothing left in me to put towards the novel that I’m working on. And that’s not good. We all need those creative outlets.
If our minds are going constantly (even on the creative outlet), we will drain ourselves. So we have to have that time of recharging which usually means taking a mental break.
Spiritually we must recharge. If we’re always giving to other people and doing, doing, doing and not taking the time to read the scriptures and pray, we’re going to feel drained. If we never attend church and worship as an occasional “participator” and only do so in a serving capacity, we’re going to be completely depleted.
Our pastors even rotate Sundays preaching so that every several weeks they have a Sunday “off” to come and be a participator. This is very healthy for the life of your pastor’s family and for the church.
When I’m at church, I like to think of myself as plugging in to where I’m at right there right then and leaving everything else outside of those doors. It’s important to do that because if you bring in all of your junk and all of your stress, you’re cheating yourself out of a great worship, but you could also be cheating your friends and fellow church members out of the full experience, as well.
So few of us would (or could because of our work or lifestyle requirements) take an overnight or a weekend trip by ourselves to a remote location just to unwind and simply connect and spend time with the Lord. Can you imagine how recharging that would be? Sign me up!
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how I was feeling spiritually dry and how I had learned that that was okay. We don’t always have to feel like we’re overflowing. But I’ve realized in the last two weeks that the dryness can be God’s way of showing us that it’s time to recharge. We can’t always spill out to other people/family members and to our jobs and do our commitments without that time of recharging.
So how do you recharge?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.