The following is offered simply to give some reminders about the principles of wellbeing for clergy. As we continue to minister in these days of rapid change and high anxiety we, too, are affected by the changes in our ministry and in our personal lives.
We may well be affected by the fear that we hear from others, directly and from the media. We will also have our own heightened concerns – for friends, family and all those we seek to support.
The principles concerning wellbeing remain the same:
- Take breaks. Take time out for those things that feed and refresh you:
- Know what feeds you best in your own spiritual life, whether it be contemplative prayer, reading, walking and praying, sitting in the garden. Give time to whatever it is that promotes your own spiritual health.
- Know what feeds you best in your mental wellbeing – don’t neglect the importance of creativity and hobbies.
- Be selective about listening to/watching/reading about the news - once or twice a day
- Keep your body moving. Being given permission for just one form of exercise a day may prompt many of us to increase our level of exercise! Take that daily walk, cycle ride or run.
- Keep in touch with those who care for you – e.g. friends, family, spiritual support. It will become only too easy to focus solely on our communication with those to whom we are offering support. Allow others to support you.
- Pace yourself. Don’t feel that you must have everything ‘sorted’ in these early days of this crisis.
- Pass on your top tips for maintaining your wellbeing to clergy colleagues.
- If you have financial concerns contact Bishop Dagmar.
You will be holding others in prayer, know that you, too, are being held in prayer by others.
Diocese of Gloucester: ‘Guidance for ministers as the coronavirus deepens
- There is a helpful article on the Diocese of Gloucester website: ‘Guidance for ministers as the coronavirus deepens’. This is to be found under ‘Looking after your mental health’.
St Luke’s Virtual Wellbeing Programme
- Specifically-prepared resources to support clergy wellbeing during a time of Covid through reflection either individually or as a group. Click here.