Being Kind to Myself

By Student Servant Leader, Emily Mentz
Lutheran Campus Ministry held its annual fall retreat in Trego, WI during the weekend of October 2-4. From the beginning of classes to the time retreat rolled around, I felt completely spent. The morning before leaving for the weekend, I had what felt like a much needed cry and too much mint chocolate chip ice cream for lunch. I had this recurring thought that I was being spread too thin but also not meeting the expectations I had set for myself all at the same time. It can be so easy for me to become frustrated when I skip a workout to get much needed sleep, or don’t give an assignment the effort it deserves because I take time to call my mom. Therefore, it was fitting that the theme of retreat was the Sabbath and the importance of taking breaks in order to resist a culture that screams at us to continue a productive, fast pace. This intentional retreat time became a great space for me to practice some self-kindness: I wore only my comfiest clothing, drank lots of tea, ate chocolate, and was surrounded by the beauty of creation in the fall and wonderful community. The challenge is continuing to be this gentle with myself now that I’m back to the demands of campus. However, I think little things like comfy scarves, good coffee, and intentional time to slow down to talk with God about what’s on my heart are helping me to keep a better balance. I’m continuing to learn that I cannot always reach the expectations that I set and I cannot please everyone- but I am valued and loved and this spirit was made for more than a frazzled and hurried existence.

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