Your daughter is standing before you, red face and tears. Her sniffling nose and tired eyes are speaking to you louder than her words. “Bed. Time.” you think to yourself while grabbing a kleenex from the box next to you.
You can see the signs all over her that she needs a break and some hours of sleep will make this conversation so much easier in the morning.
But what happens when YOU are in a pile of tears and there is no one to tell you to go to bed or take a break?
How do you know when you need some time away?
Actually, rather than seeing the signs in ourselves, we tend to say things like, “If I can just get through this week.” and “I just need to push through a few more days.” and “There isn’t time to take a break.” and “I feel like I just had a break… I can’t possibly need another one!” and “I just need to tough it out.” and on and on our sayings go.
I’m not saying perseverance isn’t important or that there are not times to just push through…
We all know that pushing through is a life skill and an important one at that.
I think the hashtag for it is #adulting.
The problem is that too often we push through for weeks on end and just try to get through one day after another without really letting ourselves take a break.
We don’t put ourselves in time out or make ourselves take a nap.
But we need to sometimes.
We need to get better at seeing the need for a break in ourselves and get as good at recognizing our need for rest as we do for our kids.
But how? What are the signs?
1} You feel the stress before you even get out of bed. That is too much stress. Too much worry. Too much to carry before you even start your day is a clue that you need a time away.
2} You went to bed the night before feeling bad for how you acted or reacted to your spouse, your kids, your friends, your coworkers and so on… that guilt? That is a huge sign that you aren’t responding well because you need a break.
3} You can’t sit still. This is a big one. If there is so much on your mind that you can’t take a break even if you have time because your brain is spinning wildly with the next thing… that is a big sign.
4} You can’t stay on top of the to do list. You are always one step behind, a little bit late and completely stressed about it all. That means the to do list needs a break too.
5} You don’t ever have uninterrupted time alone with Jesus. That alone speaks for itself. And, not in a “you should feel guilty about this” kind of way… that uninterrupted time with Jesus is what refreshes your soul. If you do not have time for it, you need time away to refocus and figure out how to make it happen.
6} You worry all day about everything. As if all that worry will really, actually help at all. But you do it anyway. All that worry is screaming for a break.
7} You feel like situations are bigger than they really are. Everything just seems huge and overwhelming. Too big, too hard, too much, too frustrating… yeah, you need time away from all those big things.
8} You feel like things will fail if you don’t do them. The truth is, some things MIGHT fail. But, life won’t stop. The world won’t cease to spin. The sun won’t fail to rise. And you need a break to remember those things.
9} You aren’t even finished with the current project and there are 10 more waiting on your desk. You will plan them all much better if you plan in some time to get away from it all and rest.
10} Your emotions take over before you realize what happened. Big, red flag. Nothing good happens when we make decisions, parent, interact with our spouse, go to work… all on emotions that are running amuck. The chicken with it’s head cut off phrase? Yeah… that applies here. You see it effecting your marriage and your parenting. Not good.
11} You just want to run away. I’ve SO been there. Sadly… many times. That is a big personal red flag. Read this.
12} You feel bad for taking a break… and you haven’t even taken a break yet.
So, if any of those are true, you need time away.
A book in a coffee shop. A break. An afternoon nap. A staycation. Maybe even a real deal VACATION.
Plan it. Make it happen. Talk to your spouse. Talk to your boss. Find someone to take care of what is absolutely necessary and let the rest GO. Research a few low key places to relax. Find out where you can just chill for an afternoon. Gather up a journal, a good book, a chamomile tea, maybe even a friend and do something relaxing.
See the signs. Recognize them for what they are and do something about it.
Remember how much easier it is to parent when your kids are rested, healthy and happy?
Your life will be much easier when YOU are rested, healthy and happy.
And in the time away…
Talk to Jesus. Let Jesus speak to you. Let him speak to your doubts, your fears, your busyness, your schedule, your to-do list, your heart cries. Let Him minister and help you better utilize your time to include periods of rest. Let Him orchestrate your days.
Let go. Do nothing. Forget the world. Put the weight down. Breathe.
Life is busy and stressful for all of us. There is no doubt about that.
But time away can really help lift your soul and keep you running the race put before you in healthy, rested, happy ways.
Do you need time away? Do you need rest? Maybe a nap? What sign stood out to you as you were reading this?
Be sure to click around at some of the links in this post too. I’ve been there. often. Which is why this post is full of links… so, yeah. Time out anyone?
Bonus: I LOVE having kindleunlimited. It is a great way to get new study books, language books, devotionals or novels each month… and I can get books for the girls as well! You can use the free app on your device or invest in a Kindle for some unplugged reading get away time.