Grill on. Sun going down in horizon. Memorial Day has come and gone. I used to waste three day weekends. I would try to do everything and anything with everyone. Instead of maximizing this golden opportunity I would throw away my day off. I would emerge restless.

One of the most important habits you can practice as a youth minister is rest. While it might be difficult to find in your day to day schedule, it’s practically given to you certain days of the year. On a day off you need to find rest, you need to rejuvenate yourself so that you can endure the long haul of youth ministry. While there are millions of things you can do on your day off, maximize it by:

  • Tuning Out The Noise: Disconnect from anything with a screen or ring tone. Granted you might not be glued to your phone, but you need to switch up the focus. Focus on family and friends. Engage in a book or just listen to the stillness that can surround you. A quiet mind allows you to think and reflect. It allows your mind to disconnect from the things that freak you out.
  • Leaving Room In The Schedule: It might be tempting to do as much as humanly possible. But, if you over plan you’ll see the time fly by leaving you with higher levels of stress than before. Plan a few things, but put in moments of margin. If something takes 30 minutes to do, give yourself 45 minutes instead. Margin will slow down your day and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Pampering Yourself: Do not be afraid to be slightly selfish. When you have a day off do something that brings you joy. Maybe it’s going for a run or working in the yard. It could be catching a film or reading a book. Go out to eat or order take out. Treat yourself special. This might be the only time you really get to focus on yourself.

While these steps will help you find rest they are not fool proof. Life will happen. However, do not squander what is given to you. Do not waste a free day by over planning or whizzing through it. Embrace it, and enjoy it.

How do you maximize a free day or day off?