"Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work." -- Ralph Marston
This is a busy time of year for many people. Listen to mothers and you will hear them comment about how hard they work to create a perfect holiday full of memorable moments for their families. Then by the time the holidays finally arrive they are too tired to enjoy them. I have heard many mothers comment that they are physically sick on Christmas Day because of all the energy they have expended in preparation.
This is also a busy time of year for many family entertainers. In 1990 I worked as a Santa for a company that had the photo concession in several Southern California malls. It was not a high paying booking, but I was looking forward to having steady work. I didn't realize how steady it was going to be. Many college age people applied for positions thinking it would be an easy way to earn money between semesters. It turned out to be more difficult than they expected. There was a heat wave that winter which made our costumes uncomfortable. It was also emotionally difficult due to requests from children that were hard to answer. For example, one young boy told me he wanted his daddy to stop hitting his mommy. The first Gulf War was being fought that winter and many children wanted their military parents to come home for the holidays. Many of the young employees did not last long. Frequently I was called to fill in for a Santa who had not shown up for their shift, and often worked at more than one mall a day. On Christmas Eve I worked at the same mall from opening to closing because the other employees did not come to work. By the end of the day I was both mentally and physically exhausted. It was tempting to go home and just collapse in bed. However, I went to a midnight candlelight service at my local church. The beauty of the setting, the old familiar carols, and the message of hope from the pastor's sermon all gave me a feeling of peace that refreshed my spirit. I returned home and was able to immediately fall asleep. The next morning I was energized and ready to celebrate Christmas with my family.
When I attend a convention, conference, or a week-long training program I often have a very busy schedule. I have found that I need to take care of my body if I am sitting in lectures most of the day. So, if possible I get exercise by using the stairs instead of the elevator. I find that spending too much time in air conditioning is difficult because my throat gets dry. So I try to take at least one long walk in the middle of the convention to get some fresh air and additional exercise.
Also, when I attend a convention I find that I need to spend some time alone to refresh my mind and spirit. That is why I prefer a private room. After being by myself for a brief period I enjoy spending time with the other participants.
At home I have discovered that playing solitaire with a deck of cards is a good way to refresh my mind. There is something about shuffling and handling the cards that is more relaxing than playing it on a computer. For me working on a jig saw puzzle is also good mental refreshment.
My wife, Carole, usually has some type of project. When she doesn't have something to do she feels guilty for being lazy. In recent years she has come to appreciate that the quiet times are not unproductive because they allow her to recharge her batteries for the next project or challenge coming our way.
How can you plan times to rest? What can you do to refresh your body? What can you do to refresh your mind? What can you do to refresh your spirit? How can you recharge your batteries for the next period of work?