Finding Time for Rest and Renewal - April 23, 2021

One of the most difficult challenges for caregivers and those in the helping professions, even in the best of times, is finding the balance between taking care of others and finding time to take care of ourselves.

Posted
April 23, 2021
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Finding Time for Rest and Renewal - April 23, 2021

One of the most difficult challenges for caregivers and those in the helping professions, even in the best of times, is finding the balance between taking care of others and finding time to take care of ourselves.

Posted
April 23, 2021

"Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." - Eleanor Brown

JFS Friends –

One of the most difficult challenges for caregivers and those in the helping professions, even in the best of times, is finding the balance between taking care of others and finding time to take care of ourselves. There is a famous quote from Rabbi Hillel that is found in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) that sums up this tension beautifully. He said:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”

Rabbi Hillel reminds us that we must be advocates for our own well-being while at the same time accepting responsibility to take care of the needs of other.

Whether the weekend for you includes the observance of some form of Shabbat or Sabbath or not, resting and making time for self-care is an important part of finding and keeping a healthy balance in our lives. True rest doesn’t affect us only when we are resting. It spills over into our weeks, our years, our very lives. The days preceding the day of rest become days of excitement and expectation. Even the most harried workdays become tolerable when you know a day of peace and rest is coming. The days after the days of rest become less burdensome as well. They are made lighter because we approach them with renewed energy and a revived spirit. True rest gives us a completely different perspective on all of life’s difficulties. It allows us the space to heal, to reflect, to give thanks, and to face whatever lies ahead with a renewed sense of calm.

Remember, if you take on too much and deplete your inner resources completely, it is as if you have taken on nothing.

Rabbi Lauren Eichler Berkun expresses it this way:

“When we are depleted of our own resources, we are incapable of providing for those around us.”

Cantor Susan Caro wisely distinguishes between rest and sleep and explains that true rest involves more than sleeping:

“Resting is not sleeping, but letting the mind and heart be clear.”

Rabbi Naomi Levy expands on this idea of true rest:

“True rest gives us a completely different perspective on all of life’s difficulties.
It allows us to heal, to reflect, to give thanks, and to face whatever lies ahead with a renewed sense of calm.”

All of us recharge our phones, our tablets and our computers every day so that they will have the power they need to be a resource when we need them. Ask yourself, why would you not treat yourself with the same respect that you do your devices?

As we go into this weekend, I hope that you will take the time to truly rest, to find activities that nurture your body, mind and spirit so that we can all return to do our sacred work with renewed strength and a renewed sense of calm.

Take care of yourselves,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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