4 Ways to Recharge that are Easy to Discredit

Evan Doyle

A while back, I felt backed into a corner. No one was pointing a finger in my face, I was simply asked a question, “What kind of things are you interested in?” I felt trapped by my lack of ability to answer the question. 

I felt bullied by my circumstances. 

I didn’t like feeling one-dimensional. 

It seemed to me that the question should have been easy to answer.

What if I asked you the same question? Would you feel as awkward as I did?

Let’s give it a try.

What do you like to do in your free time?

How are you recharging?

What habits do you practice that help you stay healthy?

As leaders, it’s easy to overlook or even discredit the need to recharge. We forget that it’s not a badge of honor to only be busy with the church or business. You may even be fearful that if you take a break you’ll miss new opportunities. I want to suggest designating time to recharge will help you identify new possibilities that you would have missed if you had never done so.

Below are four ways that have helped me to become a more well-rounded person. They’ve also helped me to identify more deeply with the uniqueness of who God has created me to be. 

1.  Exercise

In my late-twenties, I started working out a few days a week because my older friends in their thirties kept saying to me, “just wait until you turn thirty, everything goes down-hill.” I didn’t want to be a guy in my thirties making excuses. So, I started making changes.

Fast forward to now and I’ve come to realize that exercise has many benefits in addition to general health.

Regular exercise releases endorphins that enhance a greater sense of well-being which help get your mind away from negative cycles of thought and worry.

Developing a routine or rhythm of exercise will help to relax your mind and relieve stress.

Not to mention, some great sermons (at least I think so) have been idealized while working out at the gym. 

Problems that seemingly were overwhelming have dissolved, as I allowed my heartrate to rise, because of physical activity rather than worry.

Adam Chekroud, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, stated, “sweating three to five times a week was associated with a bigger reduction in poor mental health days than either not exercising at all or hitting the gym more than five times a week…”

Not only will physical activity help you to handle stress more effectively, a tired body also rests better.

There are so many more reasons and benefits that you’re probably already aware of to exercise, but from my experience it has also been a deeply spiritual aspect of my live.

Each of the four ways that I’m sharing have become a special avenue for me to connect with God.

2.  Hobbies

Multiple times I’ve been asked by others freshly entering ministry about how to keep “church-life” from spilling into every other area of their life. Or, in other words, how do I keep from being consumed with the problems and issues of the church, even when I’m not there?

I always recommend pursuing or developing a hobby.

A few years ago, when I was asked about what I like to do in my free time I really didn’t have a response. I was embarrassed that all I really did was “church stuff”.  And, momentarily became resentful of my work because I felt it was robbing me. The truth is, I was the culprit.

I felt robotic, despite knowing that I’m meant to be creative and to find enjoyment in life.

Over the years, I’ve played indoor soccer, lifted weights, blogged, practiced guitar, and kayaked. It has even been as simple as taking my dog for a walk on a nightly basis.

I recently heard Max Lucado share about the importance of having an activity to engage in that has no consequences if things don’t go as planned.

It’s freeing to have areas that are restorative and enjoyable, even when it’s less than ideal.

Find a hobby and have fun with it!

3.  Friends

Recently, my wife and I had our closest friends approach us about our friendship with them. Basically, they asked us if they were misinterpreting our friendship with them and asked if we were not as close as they thought we were.

They told us they felt like they never know what’s going on in our life and that we seemed distant. They were right.  I was carrying a heavy weight and was keeping it to myself. We had stopped reaching out and were keeping conversation at a surface level. 

It truly was one of the most caring acts of friendship that I’ve experienced.

I am so grateful for a friendship like this. We decided to pour our hearts out to them. Doing so was tremendously helpful in navigating through the difficult feelings and decisions.

If you have close friends that you haven’t been intentional to deepen your friendship with, stop what you’re doing right now and touch base. 

Send them a text, say hi, make dinner plans, schedule a time to hang out soon. You need it.

4.  Learning

Being a learner is key to becoming a more effective leader. With the right perspective, learning new things is exciting and energizing.

Information has never been more accessible than it is right now. Most of us have ready access to books, podcasts, the internet and so much more. 

If there is something that you want to learn about or become better at it’s never been easier to learn how.

Learning can spark new ideas. It can motivate you to try new things. Discovering something that you’ve never known before can inspire you do something that you’ve never tried.

Make it a goal to read some new books. Download some podcast episodes. Get out of a rut by learning how to. 

There was a time I had a hard time answering questions about how I recharge. I didn’t like that. I knew there were things I was interested in and wanted to pursue, I just never took the time.

You’re no different. God has uniquely created you. There are interests and offerings that you have that can be used to connect more deeply to your purpose and calling. And for your enjoyment.

Evan Doyle is a campus pastor in Southeast Indiana. He also blogs at dailychristianhelp.com to help other leaders strengthen their ministry, avoid frustration and grow their church.

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