Unplug and Refresh

After four long weeks of seemingly never-ending work, a family member having surgery, dealing with skin breakdown, and the panic of getting that healed up, I needed a break. I hoped taking two vacation days would allow me a bit of time to get refreshed. But it’s difficult to unplug from a world where I am constantly connected. I decided to leave my Wi-Fi and computer behind. I packed a lunch, grabbed my journal, and closed the door of my house. I headed out on a sunny Tuesday morning to The Parklands, a park system just two miles from me that boasts accessible paths and even wheelchair-friendly picnic tables.

Rolling down the path for almost a mile through the dense trees, I finally found a nice spot where I settled in and ate lunch. A large, old tree enchanted me with its knots and numerous low-hanging branches. Two hummingbirds and a bright red cardinal were my only companions.

After eating, I decided to follow a path I hadn’t been on before. It, too, was paved, so I felt comfortable exploring new territory. Bright yellow Black-eyed Susans, tiny orange wild flowers, and lush grasses and trees filled the landscape as I made my way through the trail. I returned to where my van was parked and decided to find a place to sit near the creek. Wheelchair access to Floyds Fork is limited, but I finally found a nice spot under a bridge.

In the shade, I listened to the sounds of summer. The leaves of trees and tall grasses being blown by the wind. Cicadas and crickets as nature’s background music.

How much do I miss by being holed up in front of a computer all day? I may be connected to the world but I’m clearly disconnected from creation.

As the creek rolled gently by I soaked in Solomon’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13:

So I decided that there was nothing better for a man to do than to enjoy his food and drink and his job. Then I realized that even this pleasure is from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy apart from him?

After hours of being unplugged from technology, both my body and mind had breathed some fresh air. But not quite enough. I texted work and let them know that I was going to take another vacation day to extend my “soul care.”

On Thursday, I returned to work refreshed. Renewed. Rather than plodding through another day at the office, I woke up grateful for the work I am privileged to do.

Here are my favorite tips on how to unplug and refresh:

  • Figure out what refreshes you when you’re worn out. Some ideas include disconnecting from technology, being in nature, taking a nap, spending time with a good friend, exercising, cooking
    or reading. Everyone is different, so the way we rest will look different, too.
  • Schedule time off and put it on your calendar, otherwise the busyness of life will likely crowd it out.
  • Rest and refill before you’re running on empty.

 Jenny

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