We are back from vacation and I am looking at mounds upon piles upon loads of things that all have to get done RIGHT NOW. Everything is a priority when you get back in the groove of things. As I have started to work through the piles on my desk, the books in my “to read” stack, and all of the stuff in my various inboxes, my general inclination is quite simple:
I don’t think this is unique to those who suffer from depression, but that does make things worse. When you have a lot of things to do, with many different responsibilities that often compete with one another, it is very easy to go into shut-down mode and not be able to get off the ground.
How do you move forward? Here are a few things that work for me:
1. Recognize what’s going on and be honest about it.
2. Try to gather everything that has to get done into one place, one list, so that it is all there and there aren’t any loose ends niggling at your mind.
3. Try to prioritize as much as reasonably possible what has to get done when.
4. Work it down to manageable chunks of what you can actually DO.
5. Start on the list.
6. Breathe and remember that you are one person, not a god. You can only do what you are able to do.
That’s what comes to my mind. What’s in yours?
We are now in the afterglow of the resurrection of our Lord. It is a good place to be.
For many pastors, Lent represents a trial of time, emotions, energy and just plain work. It is the six weeks which are both wonderful and incredibly taxing. Not to mention taxes coming right after Easter this year! So In the midst of all of this hoopla, I always find myself reveling in and enjoying the joy and festiveness of the season, but also breathing a little easier that the toughest six weeks of the year are behind me.
Of course, we put so many expectations on ourselves during this season. Easter sermons are the toughest to write and preach for me. A part of it is that I feel like I have to put on an unnaturally over-happy face on in order to get it “right”. This year I tried to embrace the challenge of Easter a little better, preaching the text (Mark 16:1-8) without using unnatural preaching styles for me. I think it worked pretty well.
So what do you do after Eastertide, oh pastors and people? Is it a time of relaxation, a time to return to “normal”, or something else?
Pastors are under a lot of stress this time of year. The added services, plus the stress of helping people with job loss, plus taxes, plus anything else that is going on within the congregation, all of these add up to a very difficult picture sometimes.
What do you do to relieve stress? Do you have a release valve somehow? Do you internalize it? Exercise? Play? Talk? Find some other distraction?
One of the things I have been trying of late is praying. Yes, I know, this isn’t that complicated. But verbalizing the things I am stressed about to our Lord in prayer is tremendously helpful. I am not alone with my problems. God is with me, promises to hear and to answer my prayers.
But I still get stressed.
So what do you do?
I’ve been off clonazepam for a week now, and things seem to be going pretty well. It seemed to help me in the past with stressful situations, excessive noise, and either visual or verbal clutter. After a week, I seem to be able to manage these things fairly well.
One of the signs for me that things were starting to resemble normalcy was Panera. I love Panera. Half of my sermons are written at Panera. But that has not been the case for some time. I just haven’t been able to handle the hustle and bustle one finds there. It’s really kinda driven me crazy.
So Monday I went to Panera, and after being there 45 minutes, I noticed that I wasn’t having the huge desire to run and hide. I know, that sounds a little silly, but it’s true. Sometimes victories may be found in very small things. Being able to drink a cup of coffee in peace, for example.
Hopefully getting of Welbutrin will go s smoothly. But we’ll try one step at a time for now…