The Oasis - September 15, 2021

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
September 15, 2021

Rev. Eric Dupee

Lately, I find myself talking a lot about self-care. We can’t eliminate the challenges and stressors life throws at us, but we most often can, to some extent, tend to our own needs in the midst of it. Being intentional about boundaries is a great way to care for ourselves. In fact, the Sabbath rhythm of six days of toil and one day of rest is a God-imposed boundary that many of us struggle to maintain. The following is a wonderful reflection on keeping boundaries a parishioner shared with me this week:

A kitchen timer is a very useful tool for setting boundaries for yourself or others. For instance, calling a chatty relative is manageable when you open the conversation by saying you only have a few minutes to talk but you really want to check in. When your oven timer goes off, explain that you have to go and hang up. I like to call relatives in the late afternoon when I have something in the oven. Honesty is a good thing.
     I also use a timer to define and limit the time I spend on my worries. I allow myself a set amount of time to obsess about catastrophes but when the timer dings, I move on to a preplanned activity, often something in the fresh air outside. If the same concern keeps cropping up it is probably time to talk to someone. Many times, I just need to corral my anxiety and when that is under control, I can move to problem solving, if necessary.
     Perhaps you measure the steps you take in a day or the amount of screen time you use. Sometimes we forget to plan for time for music or hiking or art making or whatever else we consider fun. Playtime refreshes us and helps us be resilient. Life is fleeting and we need to make the most of it. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90, 12) God loves us and wants us to be happy. Set your timer and make it happen.


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