How To Respond To A Long Day

Moving from summer to fall means a new season of ministry.  Chances are your weeks will move quicker and your days will feel long.  After a night of ministry you just want to collapse and sleep in the next day. But, you know you can’t, because there is another long day just ahead.

Anytime you transition from one season to the next you need to make adjustments.  Change will naturally tire you and wear you out.  Because ministry is organic you cannot just stop, you need to keep going.  What you need to know is how to bounce back.  That means:

PLANNING TIME TO REST

Sounds contradicting, but it’s far from it.  If you do not find time to rest you won’t have the energy to keep moving.  That means making sure you get enough sleep and then ease into the next day. If you can go in a little later or push your meetings to the afternoon.  Taking a moment to breathe is good.

CREATING A RITUAL

Sometimes it’s hard to end a long day.  They’ll wind you up or wear you down.  Create a ritual that will mark that your day is done.  For me it’s a movie. Some people I know will have a nice dinner or go for a run.  Your ritual should be something you look forward to.  It should be healthy (i.e. avoid the ice cream) and bring you peace.  

PROCESSING THE EXPERIENCE

Journaling is such a valuable exercise (More on the power journaling read here).  It allows you to capture emotions and process experiences.  Take some time before you go to bed (This could be a ritual) or the morning after to just write down:

  • How you feel.
  • What’s racing through your mind.
  • What you want to give over to God.

Processing what you experience will help you address conflict and acknowledge achievements.  In the end you’ll release any tension and be able to move forward.  

Be intentional with how you respond to a long day.  Fight the urge to just collapse and fall behind. It will take a little work on the front end, but the long term benefits will be priceless.

Question: How do you respond to a long day? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Suzanne Walsh

    Great post Chris and very timely. Really like the idea of journaling as a way to off-load frustrations and refresh. Thanks!

    • Suzanne, glad it was good timing. Journaling, blogging, writing anything down has been helpful therapy and prayer for me as a youth minister, husband, father and son.

      • Suzanne Walsh

        Thanks Chris, I will give it a try!