I’ve had a few days to get away and rejuvenate my mind. Doing this from time to time allows the brain to have a bit of a soft reset. Have you ever noticed that things take on a far different look when you get away from the pace of life that you usually do?
I am an individual whose mind never completely shuts down. Years ago, doctors would give me medicine to accomplish the task of winding down my mind so that I could sleep.
Over the last thirteen years of leading a church, I’ve had to relearn many rhythms that I once had and find new rhythms to keep my mind from racing to endless boundaries.
I have found that creativity flows when my life is in rhythm, and my mind comes to a place of rest. Hobbies, meditating (that’s scriptural), taking drives, walks with my bride, and playing a round of golf all help my mind be at ease. More than ever before, disconnecting from the world by shutting down social media, leaving my phone at home or in another room helps the mind come to a place of rest. We haven’t had “TV” for a long time, and most experts state that television isn’t considered a leisure activity since it stills requires the mind to process. Disconnecting puts my mind at ease, we are more connected than ever before, and all that connection is causing a massive disconnect with ourselves and those closest to us.
Psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD, states that our “brain is like a sponge, they can only soak up so much information before they’re saturated, then they have to dry out a bit.” I’ve always tried to ring the sponge out to make it dry quicker, then ready for use much faster. But, unfortunately, that isn’t quite how the brain works. (This past year, though, has been quite the ringer.) The mind takes and needs time to recuperate.
If you feel burned out, falling apart, or stressed out, maybe it’s time to allow the mind to be at peace. Once you’ve brought your mind to a place of peace, then find a rhythm that will help you consistently.
Here are a few practical ways to bring your mind to rest.
- Don’t overcommit – learn the power of a good no so that you can say yes to yourself.
- Schedule time to disconnect. Give yourself a hard cutoff time—for instance, no emails, texts, social media, or outside communication after 5:45 pm.
- If you’re going to stress and worry (I know we aren’t supposed to), then schedule a time and focus on that issue. I believe you’ll find there’s not much you’re going to change about the situation anyway. So, let it go!
- Find your time! I’ve found that my best times are early in the morning; I have zero guilt about taking time for me when no one else is demanding a piece of me.
- Perform the task that has you stressed out. Get it off your plate. Procrastination, in one sense, is a sign of laziness, so is business. You’re hurrying along but accomplishing little. Unfinished business can weigh heavy on the mind.
- You reap what you sow; that is a hard truth. But, unfortunately, if all you’ve planted into your mind is negativity, discord, disunity, and depressing news, that’s precisely what you will get. That’s why I don’t watch a horror film before going to sleep. I’d be running from chainsaws all night and wake up exhausted.
- Find a hobby that doesn’t take mental processing. The mind and brain can only take so much, and it will need rest. I have found my most creative moments in what I do for a career come from doing something completely unrelated to what I do. It’s like trying to find your car keys or phone, the more you think about and stress about it, the worse your searching skills become. You go sit down in the chair and realize they were in your hand, or you were talking on the phone the whole time.
The people around you will benefit as much as you do if you are in a healthy mental state. Lastly, if you cannot do it alone, ask for help.