One of my creative friends and ministry teams is finishing a tour that has sounded exciting, fulfilling and tiring to me. While listening to some of the debriefing, I was reminded of a lady in a blue polka dot dress we met in west Texas. She talked about her nagging depression—not clinical or requiring meds, just feeling empty, tired, teary and a list of aches and dissatisfactions. Of course I asked her the typical, “How long have you been feeling this way,” and “When did it begin?” She knew the answers: “The day after my son’s wedding.”
This is known as “post-event let down.” Predictable. It is a positive element of depression which tells us we need to recoup physical, spiritual, emotional, and/or relational energy. It is a dashboard warning light. The body does not differentiate between stress from good sources or negative.
My team calls this “The Mondays.” Any time we crank up for, or work toward, or look forward to an event, when that event or time is over there is a natural let-down. No matter how productive the weekend, I feel drained. When we were pastoring, Monday was a diagnosis. A weekend retreat or conference or a series of concerts and seminars often left us gasping for strength after the adrenaline and spiritual high began to dissipate. Usually one of us says, “I don’t want to talk to anyone!—not one more person.”
If you “leave it all on the court,” you will need to recoup for the next engagement or to bring your self into healthy homeostasis—balance. We attempt to take “The Mondays” seriously because our nerves are raw and the slightest provocation can set us into battle with each other or self.
In my healthy times, I follow a plan:
- Take the post-event seriously.
- Determine what we need. If you need laughter or a nap, a prayer meeting will not be totally adequate. Determining what you need requires self-questioning and attunement to the Holy Spirit. I have taken a nap when it would have been better to go for a run. I have holed up in my office when I should have invited someone to have coffee and conversation or hung out with my wife. I have hung out with my wife when it would have been better for both of us had I taken a day trip to Walgreens.
- Having determined what you think will recharge your batteries, giving yourself permission and time is important. Plot calendar or clock time to invest in your recovery.
I’m bringing this up because we are entering the season that can suck a person dry—the holidays. This is not your first rodeo or holiday season. Therefore, ask yourself what the holidays usually do to you. What will you feel on Monday, Dec 1? What will refill your soul? Refresh your emotions? Rejuvenate your body? God the Creator talks about the seventh day being a Sabbath. God the excellent HR person says to calendarize about one-seventh of your time for Recovery—rest, recreation, rejuvenation, recouping.
Happy Thanksgiving. Carole and I intentionally give thanks for you and ask God’s blessing on your family, endeavors and challenges.
©2014 D. Dean Benton http://www.bentonministries.com
Writer, Wonderer, Quester, Provoker