We live in a time where being on the go is the new craze. You are constantly bombarded with quotes like “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” You are made to feel like if you are not spending 24/7 working on your goals and dreams there is something wrong with you and you don’t want it bad enough. I post quotes on a regular basis on Instagram, I do believe how you spend your time shapes your life but I also believe in the swear word “REST”.
Have you ever tried running a car on empty? I remember those dark times when I could not afford to put fuel in my car regularly (that is for a future post) I ran very close to the wire on a regular basis and once I was caught out. It was like my car was trying to teach me a lesson for ignoring all the warning signs I had been given and it stopped working. In case you did not know it your body is like a machine and it needs to be refuelled regularly. When you choose to ignore the various warning signs your body just like my car will stop functioning properly.
The Bible is filled with instructions about rest and recreation and relaxation. In fact, it’s so important that God put it in the Ten Commandments — right up there with “Don’t commit adultery” and “Don’t murder.” He says that every seventh day, you have to take a day off. That’s how important a Sabbath (from šāḇaṯ in Hebrew which means rest)is in your life.
Jesus said in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”(NIV). In other words, God created this idea of you taking a day off every seven days for rest, recreation, worship, and restoration. It’s his idea, and it’s for your own benefit so you don’t burn out — Rick Warren
Rest is not one size fits all & it’s not always about sleep either. We all have different things that fill us, which help us to relax and provide much-needed restoration to our minds and soul. Naturally, when you speak of rest the idea of a holiday comes to mind but you can’t go on holiday every week and not all holidays are relaxing. Have you come back from a holiday needing another holiday? Another problem with focusing on holiday as your rest time is that you are postponing …. Life is unpredictable so if the unforeseen were to happen and you could not go on holiday that year there is a good chance your body won’t let you make it till next year for a reschedules holiday.
Below are some practical way I find rest which might work for you:
I run about 5.5 miles 4/5 times a week, I know what you are thinking how is that restful but when I go for a run it’s just me and my thoughts. It’s a chance for me to process the day ahead of me, spend some time with God, exercise, and release of endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Regular exercise has been proven to Reduce stress/Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression/Boost self-esteem /Improve sleep.
Scientific studies show that helping others boosts happiness. It increases life satisfaction, provides a sense of meaning, increases feelings of competence, improves our mood and reduced stress. It can help to take our minds off our own troubles too. Speaking from experience when I have helped others out either by just spending some time to talk to them or anonymously buying something I know someone needed I have felt so much better. “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” Acts 20:35
I love reading or these days listening to books on audible, reading provides an escape as well as a different perspective on issues or worries you might have. It provides clarity for me which ultimately provides some peace of mind.
By far this is what fills me up the most spending time with people who are good for your health, people who fill you up not drain you. I am blessed to be able to say my wife is someone who I can relax with and she fills me up. We act like teenage kids sometimes even though we have some of our own.
I also have a good group of friends who I can either talk to on the phone as they are not local or spend some time with when I visit who restore me and keep me sane. It is important to stress that you identify the “fillers” from the “drainers”. Some friends/family/relationships etc are draining so “STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE” during your rest period.
Spend some time looking back over your past and identify the various activities which have left you feeling revitalized and do those more often. The activities that have left you depleted STOP DOING THEM.