Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
There are times in our lives that can make it seem like we have to push ourselves all of the time and ending up moving too quickly into more “good” projects. Sometimes the good has to go and the “best” stay. We need to break the over activity cycle.
People with Type A personalities find this difficult. They are used to pushing themselves all of the time. We’ve been taught in this culture to push ourselves and not listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
If we don’t pace ourselves, and take a break sometimes, we’ll burn out. Your body is shouting at you from the sidelines, “Look out! You’re heading towards danger. Don’t you feel that increased pain, exhaustion, muscles tensing and acid rising inside.” However, we just continue to limp along and ignore the signs.
What you’re doing now is like making bank deposits for five to ten years down the road. People who do well handling pain will have changed the pace of their life.
So here’s what can help – spread your work out. What you would normally get done in four hours, take six hours to do. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “But I have so much to do. There’s no way I can take longer to do things.” But if you burn out, you’ll get nothing done.
Slowing down, means a less stressful lifestyle, and what you get done in a day will actually increase. Haven’t you noticed sometimes that when you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes and then have to back track?
Here’s what else can help – Take a time out. When you’re working at your desk take a break every thirty minutes. Get out of your chair and walk around for a few minutes. When you return to working, you’re head will feel clearer and you’ll have re-energized your body.
The next tip may be a little harder to do – Learn to say “no”. For me this is the hardest. I’m a people pleaser and that’s just what I want to do. Please everyone. But at what cost does my saying “yes” bring when being asked to do something? With chronic pain part of the reason why I’ve gotten there is because I have a hard time saying “no”. It doesn’t make you a bad person to say “no” sometimes.
And lastly, even on our “good” days we need to exercise self-control and make sure we don’t overdo. This way we will be keeping our energy bank account full so that we have something in it to withdraw from on a really taxing day and we won’t just continue to limp along and ignore the signs that we’re pushing ourselves too hard.
Scott Eblin created a video on youtube.com, “Pace Yourself with Breaks,” which discusses pacing yourself at work and home. It provides us with some insight on how we can change our lives and stop pushing ourselves too hard.
As the Bible verse above says, there are things that can hinder us from finishing the race set out for us. Some of these things aren’t bad, but good. We should still be diligent in making sure that we don’t have too many eggs in our basket.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.