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6 Simple Tips To Make The Most Of Your Christmas Vacation

Posted by Gail Mayes on 12/18/14 10:30 AM

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Most of us take a few days off around Christmas to spend time with our family and friends. While vacations seem like they should be restful, most of us sabotage our vacations and fill them with work and stress.

Here are six ways to make the most of your vacation so that you can return to work in the New Year ready to take on another year!

1. Check your emails only once a day.

One of the greatest benefits of technology is that you never are really away from the office. You can stay on top of emails at the grocery store, the car pool lane, or even the dentist chair. While this may be a huge advantage during the course of the year, it can make an otherwise restful vacation stressful. During your vacation, make a rule that you will only check your email once a day, and don’t break it!

Church leaders, be sure to notify your staff of your “holiday email rule,” and tell them that if the matter is urgent to be sure to signify that in the subject line. Turn off your email notifications on your phone, and enjoy time with your family and friends. 

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2. Don't answer your phone.

Many people assume that if someone calls, it must be important. While this may be true, not everything that is important is urgent. Let the call go to voicemail, and then determine whether the matter is urgent enough to call back right away or if it can wait until you return to the office. If you want to acknowledge the receipt of the voicemail, you can send back a quick text saying, "I got your voicemail, and I will be happy to deal with this when I return on Monday." 

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3. Go on a date with your spouse.

Holidays are a time filled with extended family members and friends. Take advantage of the extra hands, and go on a date with your spouse. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles are typically more than happy to entertain the little ones while you slip away for some quality time with your spouse. Ministry is hard, not just on those who are a part of a church staff but also on their spouses. Take time to debrief about the highs and lows of the past year and make goals as a couple and a family for the upcoming year. Enjoy your time together, and come back from vacation stronger together.

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4. Sleep.

With friends and family in for the holiday, it is tempting to stay up late and say that you will catch up with sleep by sleeping in. Most of us know that this is not reality. Kids (even if they are not yours) are up early whether it is vacation or not. Staying up late while playing board games and watching movies is so much fun, and spending time with extended family is important – but neither of those are as important as being well rested. Coming off of the Christmas season while serving on a church staff is exhausting, and most of us build up a huge sleep debt. Make sleeping a priority for your vacation so you can start the New Year on the right foot. 

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5. Start healthy habits.

Speaking of starting the year off on the right foot, spend time while you are on vacation thinking about your goals for the New Year. Whether it be eating healthier, getting more sleep, spending more quality time with your spouse and kids, or exercising, vacation provides the time you need to break bad habitsand start new ones. 

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6. Plug back in.

While on vacation, spend some extra time in prayer and in the Word. Not in research or study for your next sermon but in genuine time with God. Find peace in the scripture; find rest in the Word. As a Pastor or a church staff member, you have spent a year working long hours behind the scenes, serving your church and your family without rest. You are probably spiritually and emotionally spent. Spend time getting filled back up. Find time to go outside and enjoy creation or have spiritually encouraging conversations with your spouse or friends. Come back to work in the New Year refreshed, renewed, and ready to serve another year.

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What other ways can you take advantage of your vacation?

If you liked this, then you’ll also like 17 Ways To Recharge During Your Holiday Downtime.

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Topics: Team Building, Senior Leadership

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