‘A 45-minute nap after lunch gets me through to the end of the day.’

This was the advice given to me by my probation supervisor over 20 years ago, and at the time, it seemed absurd. (Apologies, J!). But now, I understand. The workload has increased, especially in my new role, with a whirlwind of activities. Today, I prioritise self-care not out of selfishness but because it’s the only way I can meet the demands of my roles. With two teenagers, a dog, and family matters, there’s never a dull moment… and never enough time.

In 2018, I hit rock bottom, and it took me a year to fully recover. To do so, I had to prioritise self-care. I went hunting for my spark and built up my mental, physical and spiritual health, and over the last few years, I have maintained weight loss, run marathons, and kept journaling. Ministry today is overwhelming. Writing so much material, leading so many moments of care, support, and worship, and managing property and resources whilst trying not to drown in bureaucracy is challenging but a great privilege. But I’ve noticed a significant difference in my ability to cope and perform since I started prioritising self-care. I’m more focused, energised, and resilient.

The pressure is real, and the hats we are called to wear are increasingly heavy. Yet my supervisor knew what I didn’t then, but I hope you will hear from me now! Whether it is a nap or a run, setting the timer for 15 minutes and reading a book (one of my new tricks), or being honest when asked, ‘How are you?’.

Please find a way to prioritise you. After all, even Scripture tells us that Jesus was weary, and he rested.

Rev Sarah Ross, Minister, East Kilbride Moncreiff