5 Ways to Use the Summer Months for Personal Renewal

For most campus ministers, summer is an absolutely great time of the year. Campus is quiet and the urgency of weekly programming is often less stressful.

What I hear from both K-12 teachers and college campus ministers is that while they love the pace of summer, they can often feel inadequate for what they don't accomplish in the mid-May thru mid-August timeframe.

Here are five things to keep in mind for outstanding summer renewal:

  1. Give yourself permission to take things slowly. If you can get into work 30 minutes later, take advantage of that. If you can take the back roads in- stead of the freeway, enjoy a more leisurely ride into campus. Walk slower. Let yourself read slower. Pray slower.

  2. Take a prayer day. Get online or ask around for a place nearby that you could use for a personal prayer day. Look at this as an investment in your faith-life. If you need to use a personal day, it will be worth it. Many retreat centers are happy to have "during the week" guests. Bring a book, a Bible and a journal and leave the technology in the car.

  3. Do something physical. This may be to drink a smoothie each day, recharge your workout routine or go for a hike each week. You may also want to take a look at your sleep routines and recommit to getting a full eight hours of sleep each night.

  4. Re-tool your office.  Nothing lets you start a new academic year like a clean and organized workspace.  Give yourself permission to clean, toss, purge, reorganize, etc.  You'll feel great afterwards!

  5. Get a new look.  Get a new hairdo, buy some new duds, splurge on something you can afford... 

The key to all of this is simple enough- enjoy your summer!  Find God in the gift of leisure and rest.  Sometimes, that's the exact place where we need blessings the most.