Rest – A Key for Your Health – and How to Achieve It
Are you tired? Rest! Is your to-do list too long? Rest! Are your kids and spouse driving you crazy? Rest!
We are entering the most hectic time of the year! School activities, sports, holidays, shopping, parties and on and on. You will lose the joy that is supposed to accompany these things if you are too tired.
We are created to live in a pattern, a cycle, that includes rest! When we violate that pattern, it become unhealthy for us!
What happens if you don’t rest?
You experience more stress. When you are tired all the demands on your time and attention appear to be greater. The stress of this can be overwhelming.
You are more vulnerable to temptation. Being tired means being weak and the tempter knows that means it’s easier to cause you to fall.
Your relationships suffer. When you are tired, you are more likely to say or do something to cause harm to those you love. You tend to impatience and anger.
Your health suffers. You need rest to renew yourself physically and mentally. A tired body is a weak body and a weak body is more likely to become a sick body!
You become dangerous. When you are tired, your judgment is impaired, your attention span is shortened and your reactions are slowed. If you drive or operate machinery, you become an accident waiting to happen.
God rested from creation on the seventh day and established a pattern for us to follow. So, how do we rest?
What do you do to rest?
Sleep. This is the obvious answer. Whatever you do, make sure you get a good night of sleep every night.
Break from your routine. Whatever you normally do, you need to take a break. For followers of Jesus that normally means on Saturday or Sunday we go to our place of worship and spend time in fellowship with God and other followers.
Engage in activities that add to your energy and life. For some that means time with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. For others that means alone time with your thoughts or a good book.
Purposefully ignore the things that need to be done. Decluttering our minds helps reduce stress and anxiety. Setting aside a day each week to have fun and relax is a healthy way to deal with all that life demands.
Honor the rhythm of nature. Seasons are reminders of rest. Crops only grow for part of the season. Plants rest. We can take our cue from them. It’s okay to have a season of rest – a week or two or three. By taking a break for a few weeks, we often find ourselves more productive and effective when we return to work, or school or whatever our regular routine.
Rest together. For families, it is important to establish time when everyone rests together. The break for one is a break for all!
More practical suggestions for times of rest
If rest conjures up a vision of laying in a recliner all day, or week I suppose that’s okay but it may not be practical! Here are some suggestions for your day or season of rest:
Get into nature. Go to the zoo or take a hike. Go to the beach or climb a mountain. Even if you do these things as a profession, getting out into creation can be refreshing and renewing.
Read a book. Find a book that is pure enjoyment and escape. Make sure it does not relate to your profession if you have to read a lot in your work.
Take a nap. In our family, we have a generational tradition of the Sunday afternoon nap. That hour every Sunday is renewing!
Take a road trip. Find a new road and see what is down that road! Or, travel a favorite route.
Visit family and friends. Eat, laugh and enjoy time together.
Do something – almost anything – to get your mind off your daily life. Hobbies are helpful for this. Build a boat. Make a quilt. Plant a garden. Prepare a meal.
Today, be thankful for all God has given you and, if you are stressed and overwhelmed, get away for a little rest. Pray and be renewed in the presence of Jesus.