27 Self Care Tips for Church Communicators

27 Self Care Tips for Church Communicators

November 6, 2019 by

What do you do to take care of yourself? When work is busy and you can’t just take a day off, what do you do? What kind of things help you relieve stress and get through the day/week/season?

We talked to church communicators to find out what they actually do to take care of themselves.

Self Care Tips:

  1. Give yourself a break: Obviously you can’t always take a day off, but when I find myself refreshing Facebook or Buzzfeed a thousand times because I’m tired and distracted, I’ve found taking 20 to 30 minutes to take a break and do something different (rest, take a walk, sneak in a nap, whatever) it makes the rest of my day so much more productive. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  2. Shut it off: When I’m constantly scrolling and refreshing social media, that’s a good sign that I’m not focused. That’s when I need to shut off my phone or close the browser tab. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
  3. Charge your phone away from your bed. (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  4. Leave the office: When working at an office during busy seasons, I made sure I left for lunch. Even if I brought my lunch to save money, I took it to the food court at the mall across the street. (Laura Jewell, freelance designer and retail shop owner at Buck & Bette)
  5. Vacation: After three years in this role, I’ve finally discovered some of the slower times and take my vacation during those times. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  6. Have an adventure: People are happier when they spend money on experiences as opposed to buying stuff. So go do something. Create some memories. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
  7. Planning Fun: I know planning doesn’t usually equal fun and a lot of people prefer spontaneous activities, but I’ve found that I have more fun when I’ve planned something. Planning helps me spend time with people and I can look forward to whatever we planned to do. If I have a day off and haven’t planned anything, mostly I find people are not as available to just drop everything and hang out. (Sheri Felipe, graphic designer at Christ Fellowship Church)
  8. Anticipation: Studies have proven the power of anticipation. We’re often happiest on the day before vacation starts, because we’re so excited about it. You can maximize the power of anticipation by planning your vacations early. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
  9. Learn your buckets: This one may be unique to me, but I don’t think it is. I’ve learned that I have four buckets that I need to keep somewhat filled at all times or else I get out of whack mentally. There’s the Leadership/Strategy bucket, the Teaching bucket, the Design bucket, and the overall Creative bucket. If one of those gets empty, I start feeling off. If two of them get empty, things start getting bad. Everyone’s buckets are different, but it’s important to figure out what they are so you can be investing in yourself and what you need to be doing to be healthy. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  10. Clear your head: Working at home, after I finish a task or project, I clean something—make the bed, load the dishwasher, some small task that doesn’t take long but gets me away from my desk to stretch my legs and clear my mind. (Laura Jewell, freelance designer and retail shop owner at Buck & Bette)
  11. Exercise:
    • I’m terrible at being consistent on this, and it’s the last thing you want to do when you’re busy, but getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in is the best thing to clear your head and change your mood. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
    • I run. A lot. It helps clear my head and keep me sane in the midst of a very hectic schedule. (Meghan Howard, pastor at Fairborn UMC)
  12. Use your hands: I work with my brain all day long. I like to take a break by working with my hands. Start and finish something in one sitting. (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  13. Hobbies: I try to get out once a month to enjoy doing my own personal hobbies which also fill my soul. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  14. Shopping: I have every Thursday off, and I try to keep it that way. That’s my day (until the kids get home from school) to do some therapeutic shopping… rarely spending more than $10. I love just browsing and looking for deep discounts. To each their own! And the great part about it is that you can’t carry a computer around your neck when shopping. (Crystal Kirkman, communications director at First Christian Church)
  15. Music: I play music. Sometimes I just sit at night and get out a guitar and play – anything and everything. These are some of the most worshipful moments I have in my week. (Meghan Howard, pastor at Fairborn UMC)
  16. Audiobooks: I feel so much happier when I have a good book to listen to in the car or while I’m doing something mindless. Sometimes I listen to productive material (loved Unoffendable and Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus!) but more often I just escape into something frivolous. (Charla Wilkerson, director of communication and administration at Fairfax Circle Church)
  17. Take it easy: Start low if you can. Don’t start with a big event right away. Try to ease into your day, especially before work begins. (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  18. Go outside:
    • Most of my life revolves around tech: my laptop, smart phone, tablet. You name it, I’m on it. The most soul-restoring I can do is to get outside. Since I live in an urban center, this might mean visiting a local park and looking for squirrels in the trees. It might mean I walk to my local coffee spot, instead of drive. And, when I’m really lucky, I drive beyond the city limits for a good, old-fashioned walk in nature on a well-marked hiking trail. I leave my phone in the car, and I take rest in knowing that, for a couple hours, it’s just me and Jesus out there on the trail. Everything else can wait. (Ally Siwajian, campaign specialist at The Foursquare Church)
    • One of the best ways for me to relive stress and gain perspective on things is going outside. Hiking, walking, running, birding, or biking—any of these works for me. Thankfully I live in a place where I can go outside pretty much all year. I’ve read a few things recently about how it’s been proven that being in nature lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. (Sheri Felipe, graphic designer at Christ Fellowship Church)
  19. Family: Hang out with my family. They are pretty amazing people that most definitely knew me humble and grounded.  (Meghan Howard, pastor at Fairborn UMC)
  20. Church: Regular worship and soul-care is vital to my soul. I love the church I serve in and would go there even if I wasn’t on the pastoral staff. Soul care includes everything from being in God’s Word, being part of community as well as getting some time in silence. My Monday’s our sacred and my sabbath. That is a non-negotiable for me! (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  21. Sleep:
    • Being well rested is an important part of self care. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. That might mean going to bed earlier or taking a nap. If you’re not sleeping well, try to fix it. Shut off the devices, avoid caffeine, get a new mattress, etc. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
    • Wake up early. (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  22. Stick to your guns: I’ve also learned to stick to the guidelines of when I need things from our staff. Their lack of planning does not make my emergency. Are there times where that is broken? Of course, but those are few and far between. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  23. Treat yourself: Get yourself a special treat, whether it’s your favorite snack or drink or a fun present. But remember that it has to be unexpected and occasional. When it comes to being happy, “abundance is the enemy of appreciation.” In other words, if your fridge is always stocked with your favorite drink, it’s not a special treat. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
  24. Baking: I also love to bake. Baking is definitely a stress reliever for me. Then I try to give away what I bake so that my husband and I don’t eat it all, ha! (Laura Jewell, freelance designer and retail shop owner at Buck & Bette)
  25. Treat your team: Self care is usually about taking care of, um, yourself. But giving to other people is proven to make us happier. So it’s kind of selfish, but we are talking about self care, so give your team a bonus. Maybe it’s donuts in the morning or a video game break in the afternoon. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)
  26. Calendar: I block time on my calendar because otherwise it will get filled. Doesn’t have to be for any reason—just block it to give yourself time to breathe! (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  27. Give it away: The authors of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending found that “donating to charity had a similar relationship to happiness as doubling income.” In other words, giving your money away will make you happy. So make a gift to your favorite charity. It doesn’t have to be big—studies have shown that donating $5 will make you just as happy as donating $20. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)

More:

For more help with self care, check out this month’s resources from Courageous Storytellers.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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