If we don’t develop the habit of decompressing after every stressful day, and even during each day, we will carry that stress with us everywhere. And the effects will devastate our ministries and our family lives.
In order to decompress effectively, take these opportunities to decompress during each day:
- Alternate between high-stress and low-stress activities. Whenever possible, schedule activities you enjoy in between those that cause you stress.
- Leave the stress from your last meeting at your last meeting. Visualize yourself leaving your stress, like a package, at the site of your last meeting. And don’t bother to pick it up again.
- Use the natural transition times during the day to decompress. Take advantage of the natural breaks in the day to do some of the things we recommend to let go of stress.
- Be sure to decompress before you go home to your family. This is the most important time to decompress. The time you spend with your family is sacred — don’t ruin it with the stresses of the day!
Those are the natural times during the day when you can let go of the stress that has accumulated. Now remember these tips that will help you decompress effectively:
- Write down your stresses and frustrations in a journal.
- Pray honestly, passionately, even angrily to God about things that are stressing you out.
- Change your way of thinking. Try to find what God is trying to teach you in every difficult circumstance. Think of your stressors as challenges that can be overcome.
- Approach every concern with an attitude of positivity and gratitude. No matter how large your troubles, God is always bigger.
- Make changes in your behavior. Exercise to get your frustrations out. Get your mind off your present stressors. Decide to take action against your stress.
- Remember to leave tomorrow’s trouble for tomorrow. You can fight only one day at a time. You will only drain your time, energy, and focus if you try to fight tomorrow’s battles today.
Keep these tips in mind as you face each new day. Make the commitment to let stress go so that it doesn’t weigh you down and steal your joy. Ministry is never easy. But if we learn to let go of stress, we can keep that stress from robbing us of the joy God desires for us.
– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman
The above excerpt is from p. 107-108 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Managing the Stress of Ministry.
Pastors Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman share their secrets to effective stress management with practical steps and insights that you can start implementing immediately! God wants you to be a fruitful, faithful minister of the gospel. He wants you, as a Renegade Pastor, to rise above average as you pursue God’s best for you, your family, and your ministry.
Your partner in ministry,
Share This Post