The Benefits of Rest

Sunday, April 30, 2023

I was looking (staring, really) at this picture posted on my wall by Sharon J. Russum in 2016 and realized how I would welcome being in a place like that. No laptop. No phone. No Kindle. Only a paper-and-ink book. Because I need to rest, and resting has always been a challenge for me. 

Too often, I’m running on fumes and pushing myself to the limit. I’m not someone who thinks that the more I do, the more successful I’ll be. Admittedly, at work, some of my stress is self-induced. 

Small organization. Lots to do. Too little time in which to do it. Add the folks who don’t care, or understand, that it’s inconsiderate to make requests I cannot fulfill outside of work hours, and it becomes mega-stressful. This past week, one request for an additional financial report after I was finished almost made me go bananas.  'Cause stress, and I hate numbers. 🤣🤣🤣

But let's get back to the basics. We need rest to function properly. When we’re constantly on the go, our bodies don’t have time to repair and recharge. This can lead to mental and physical problems—like the sciatic pain I’ve been battling for several months and the canker sores that tell me my immune system is weak. Of course, if I’d take the vitamins I have, that would help.

 Lack of sleep weakens our immune system, impairs our cognitive abilities, and puts us at risk of heart disease. I thank God for the way He created me. Otherwise, I’d also be suffering from high blood pressure. 

Stress also takes a toll on our mental health. Under constant pressure, the brain releases stress hormones that can cause anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. All of this can spiral and lead to burnout.

So, what should we do to avoid burnout and stay healthy? The answer is simple: rest. Get enough sleep, take breaks throughout the day, and take time to unwind and relax. This might mean taking a walk, meditating, or simply curling up with a good book. Whatever helps you recharge, make it a priority. 

It's not always easy to take personal time. We live in a culture that glorifies busyness, and it can be hard to break free from that mindset. But the truth is, taking care of ourselves is the most productive thing we can do. 

When well-rested and not stressed, we're better able to focus, be creative, and make good decisions. We'll be more efficient at work, and have more energy to tackle whatever challenges come our way.

Rest is not a luxury or a sign of weakness—it's a necessity to good health and mental well-being. So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that taking a break isn't just okay, it's the smart thing to do. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Now is as good a time as any for me to use the good sense God gave me and prioritize rest, too. Pray for your sister, and while you’re at it, get some rest!


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