Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What to do when you're EMPTY

At sometime in life and different seasons during the year, each of us just get plain old TIRED.  Our strength becomes weak, our motivation is missing, and we quite honestly feel like throwing in the towel.  However, quitting is not always a legitimate option, but how do you keep going without loosing yourself in the process.

Below are a few ways that I have worked well for me, when my "tank" was on empty: 

  1. REST:  It seems so simply, but sometimes the only rest we get is when we are forced to when we get sick.  Our bodies, minds and spirits are designed to have regular seasons of rest.  This was the whole idea behind the Sabbath of the Old Testament.  Not only did it Honor the Lord, but keeping that day holy, but it forces us to slow down... In a day and age where we've done away with apparent legalism, we have lost the ability to rest and recharge.  You may feel drained, because you are drained. 
  2. REFRESHMENT: Throughout the year, purposefully schedule time away from normal activities (work and home) where you can be refreshed.  Most people call this vacation.  Vacations do not need to be expensive, or don't need to require an entire week away.  Perhaps it is a weekend trip during your wedding anniversary, of maybe a family trip to the beach for the day.  You can pack your own food, so all you're paying for it the gas.  Refreshment is much different than Rest.  It is purposeful activity that is fun, creates Positive Memories, or refills your soul.  You may be completely wiped physically after a long day of Refreshment, but internally you are recharged and refreshed.   
  3. RECREATION:  Recreation is similar to Refreshment, but has a different focus.  Refreshment is inhaling, Recreation is exhaling.  For some this is accomplished through running, others through bird-watching, some through 4-Wheeling (that's for you Jeff) and still others through fly-fishing (no idea why, this one is frustrating to me).  Good Recreational activities let of "steam" and allow you to release emotional stress in a positive outlet.  It can't replace the previous 2, but is necessary in the process of health and life.
  4. RE-ORGANIZE:  Sometimes, when we find ourselves empty, it is because we have "forgotten" something like rest, refreshment, or recreation.  However, other times when we find our selves empty, it is because our lives have either become unmanageable, or unbalanced.  This is the time to re-assess and re-organize.  Perhaps your job has nudged out the family, or the kids have smothered your marriage.  Perhaps a hobby has taken a too prominent place, causing an imbalance.  Priorities must take precedence, and when they don't, it is time to re-organize.  This assures that your values are implemented, and you are confident in the direction you are going.  Most often in our culture it is not the "INSERT" button that is needed, but the "DELETE."  Don't be timid about deleting activities and interests from your life.  It allows you to be Value-Driven, not Activity-Driven. 
When you find yourself empty, it is not a sign of weakness, but like the indicator light on the dash of your car, it is a sign that something is wrong under the hood. Take the time to examine your engine (life) and determine what is needed.   It will add years to your life, and joy to your years!