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Did you know that when you take time to rest it is a form of self-love? We live in a society that is so driven by a hustle mentality; thinking that we will get further along if we just worked harder. The problem with this thinking is that it will most likely lead to burnout or some serious health issues.
We can become so overwhelmed by our relationships, jobs, health, finances, and any other responsibilities we have, that we stop taking the time to take care of ourselves.
We stop giving ourselves the love that we need. Even worse, sometimes we use those responsibilities as a way to deflect from the fact that we don’t love ourselves.
Why Should You Take Time to Rest?
If you ask any physician, they will tell you that rest is essential for your health. Your body requires rest because that is how it rebuilds and recharges itself.
When you don’t give your body time to rest you increase your chances of developing headaches, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, lowered immunity, chronic pain, and other health issues because your body is under stress.
On the other hand, when you start to take time to rest, you will start to notice improved physical and mental health due to decreasing your stress. You will also start developing an improved mood, increased creativity, a boost in productivity, and even healthier relationships.
Think about this, if you were in a garden, would you be able to enjoy it if you were running through it? Most likely your answer is no. If you were moving through the garden at a leisurely pace and taking time to pause as you moved, you would have a much better experience.
You would get to see the details of each flower and plant, you would get to stop and smell the different fragrances, and you would get to touch different things.
You would have the time to think about what you are experiencing, ask questions, and to even read any available signs for more information. Slowing down and focusing on the experience will leave you with joyful memories instead of regrets.
You may be surprised to learn that rest can increase your creativity. When you take time to rest and relax you free your mind up to be creative because it’s not thinking about all of the other responsibilities you have to deal with. You are giving your mind the time and space to let your creative juices flow.
Another reason rest is important is that you will be more productive. When your brain is tired it will be less functional.
Think about your schedule. When do you notice you are more productive? Does it often occur after you have had a break or time of rest? Do you feel productive after a long meeting, or are you ready for a nap?
Are you more productive in the morning or after a long day at work? Figure out those times that you are generally less productive and plan a short time of rest so you can be re-energized for the next task.
One surprising result of rest is that you will have healthier relationships. When you take the time to slow down and enjoy the company of others you help to deepen that relationship.
When you slow down you get to enjoy the conversations you are having and learn more about that other person. Our friends and family don’t enjoy us as much if we are constantly running from one thing to another, either ignoring them or not giving them the time and attention they deserve.
What Does God Say About Rest?
In the very first book of the Bible, we are given our first introduction to rest. God spent 6 days creating the Heavens and Earth and everything in between, and on the 7th day, HE RESTED.
Genesis 2:2-3 (AMP): “And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.”
God also reminds us of this when He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses in Exodus.
Exodus 20:8-11 (AMP) “Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].
When we take the time to rest we are giving ourselves the quiet time our soul needs to connect with God and connect with our inner selves. It allows our minds to rest on God and leads us to inner peace.
Some of you may not be experiencing peace right now because you are not allowing yourself to take time to rest. First, stop feeling guilty about taking time to rest. That feeling of guilt does not come from God. He desires for you to have peace and He commands you to rest.
Ways to Rest
This may surprise you, but your time of rest can be either active or passive. Active rest is when you are doing some sort of physical activity such as walking, hiking, or working out. Passive rest would be doing something like praying, meditation, or taking a bubble bath.
Here is a list of both active and passive ideas for rest. Choose some activities that work best for your life. You must take the time to schedule your rest into your daily routine. Everything that you consider important goes into your schedule, and that needs to include rest.
Go for a walk or hike: Going outdoors to take a walk or a hike is a great way to not only rest but to get some fresh air.
Workout: I’m to work out it’s not good for just your physical health, but your mental health as well. Choose the type of workout that you and joy and spend 10, 30, or even 60 minutes giving your body the exercise that it needs.
Take a dance class: Dancing can be such a fun way to get your body moving. There are so many varieties of dance classes available. Find a style of dance and get your groove on.
Go for a bike ride: Another outdoor activity to rest your mind is to go for a bike ride. You can make it as easy or as challenging as you like. It will get your blood flowing and will help you take your mind off all the stress.
Go to the park: Do you remember how much you enjoyed going to the park as a child? You would be trying to swing as high as you can go or jump off the monkey bars to see how far you can land. Go enjoy some time at the park and don’t be afraid to hop back on that swing.
Go swimming: Swimming can be a great activity for any physical level. You can enjoy water aerobics, swimming laps, or just lounging on a raft with your favorite drink.
Cook or Bake: Some people really enjoy cooking or baking as a way to rest. Baking was one of my favorite ways to unwind because it was a great way to get away from all of the stress in my life. Enjoyed eating sweets so it was always a win-win.
Prayer: Prayer is just having a conversation with God. Take time to talk to God about what you are going through. Ask for Him to help you through whatever you’re going through.
There is no time limit for how long you should be spending in prayer. Prayer is something that should happen throughout the entire day.
Worship: Worship is often seen as singing a song to God, but worship is actually acknowledging God and being obedient to what he has told you to do. It is being grateful for who He is and all that He has done.
Take a bath: When is the last time you took a bubble bath just to relax? For added relaxation light some candles and turn on some peaceful music.
Live debt free: This one may surprise you but when you are living below your means and not accruing debt, you are able to live without the stress that financial burdens bring.
There are many resources available that teach you how to budget and how to steward your finances in a more successful way.
Set boundaries with people: Not everyone is allowed in your inner circle. People who are toxic or who do not bring your peace should not have free access to you. I’m giving you permission right now to remove any person from your inner circle that doesn’t need to be there.
Use your phones Do Not Disturb: This one was a life-changer for me. I set my phone’s Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on at 9:00 PM every single day (some days I turn it on earlier).
I don’t want people disturbing me with non-emergency texts as I start to prepare for bed. It also gives me undisturbed time with my husband before we wind down for the night.
Take a day off: Sometimes taking a mental health day from work will re-energize you and give you the strength to keep going back. If you take a mental health day that means you also should not be checking your work email or responding to any text messages or phone calls from your job.
Have a picnic: This is something my husband and I enjoy, but don’t do often enough. Pack a basket of your favorite foods and find a peaceful place outdoors to eat and relax. Don’t forget a blanket to sit on and bug spray if you need it.
Check out this fun basket to take with you on your next picnic.
Read a book: This is one of my favorite ways to rest, but I felt guilty about doing it for so many years. As I was working on my personal growth and going through my own journey of self-love, I felt guilty anytime I read something that didn’t aid me in my growth and healing.
In my head, I kept telling myself it was a waste of time. I finally broke free of that ridiculous thinking and am now able to enjoy reading fiction books again as a way to rest.
What is a way you find rest in your life? Do you find making time for rest easy or difficult? What change do you need to make to incorporate more rest into your life?
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please leave a comment below.
Yes, to all of this! I need to be reminded daily to take time to rest and reset. I feel better and am more helpful to others when I do! Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! I’m coming out of a season of burnout and finally taking the rest I need.
So many people underestimate the power of rest. Thank you for bringing up the benefits outside of rest itself
You’re welcome! It’s something I’ve decided to be more intentional about.
Burnout hit me really hard and rest and setting boundaries are things that I have been working hard to incorporate daily.
Burnout hit me hard too! I had to make some changes before I had a complete breakdown.