Seek rest: time off promotes better health

Seek rest: time off promotes better health

I seek rest each day and each week because if I don’t take time to regroup and adjust my perspective, my stress levels go up and my attitude plummets.

I look forward to Sundays, which are my day of rest. There are six things that make my Sundays special.

  1. I learn and grow in my faith listening to my pastor’s sermons. I love digging into the Bible and figuring out how to apply it to my life.
  2. It’s the day my three sons are most likely to come home to visit. When the whole family hangs out, a mama’s heart sings with happiness. The older they get, the harder this seems to schedule. It’s one of those just live in the present moments.
  3. It’s my day of rest so that means I don’t feel pressured to exercise. If we happen to do a fun family activity such as hiking or biking, that’s just a bonus for the week.
  4. The day is less pressure since it’s my day of rest so I don’t feel guilty about neglecting work.
  5. I also get to settle in to read a book for a longer period of time. Reading is just another way to spell stress relief for me.
  6. We often scoop up bowls of ice cream, my favorite treat, on Sunday. Yum.

Do you have a day of rest? One of the Ten Commandments is to honor the Sabbath. Science supports taking a break.

Seek rest with days off and vacations

People are healthier if they take breaks and vacations from their regular schedules.

According to Azadeh Aalai, Ph.D., in an online Psychology Today article, “Give Yourself the Day Off,” never taking a day off leads to being stressed, overworked, tired, vulnerable to obesity, and being dissatisfied with life. Medicines can mask sleep deprivation, anxiety, and sadness. Taking vacations and days off energizes a person and helps her to refocus. Not resting can contribute to heart disease and depression also.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., agreed in her Psychology Today article, “The Importance of Vacations to Our Physical and Mental Health.” She noted that vacations help people gain perspective on problems, allow them to relax with friends and family, and give them a break from their usual routine. Vacations promote positive family ties also.

My husband rescued me from a hodag on one vacation.
Our kids enjoyed fishing on the lake.

Find rest through daily breaks

Taking a day off or taking a vacation aren’t the only ways to find rest. Taking breaks throughout the day also help restore your physical and mental well-being because breaks interrupt cycles of stress that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed. Researchers claim that taking breaks boosts productivity, job performance, and health. People make better decisions after a break because they think more clearly. Breaks can spark creative ideas and new solutions. After taking a break, people are able to stay more focused for longer periods of time and are able to refocus on the big-picture goals. Taking a break can also help people retain information such as in speech memorization. Not taking breaks can lead to decision fatigue, lack of focus, and damage to eyes.

Long ago, God said to take a break. Work six days and rest on the Sabbath. It turns out, He was looking out for our best all along.

Throughout my day, I break up work at the computer with doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, and making telephone calls. In the evening, I rest by reading and visiting. My weekly break comes on Sunday. I look forward to that day of rest. Sometimes we take vacations and sometimes staycations, but during these we try to break from our regular routines. What are some ways you find rest in your day and week?

I hope you have a great week. Remember to seek rest. Make it a priority to schedule rest into the week. Your health depends upon it. And be sure to treat yourself. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.

Be sure to take time to rest.

6 Replies to “Seek rest: time off promotes better health”

  1. Wise words, Michelle! Since letting go of my unfinished book, I feel like I’m on vacation! No pressure, no guilt over what I haven’t done. Breaks for rest are necessary and welcome!

    1. Letting go of guilt sounds wonderful, Mary! I’m glad you have peace over your decision as I imagine it was a difficult one to make. Enjoy your break! I pray you will be refreshed in many ways. Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts and for your encouraging words.

  2. We are getting ready to have a “get rid of the stuff” sale, so I am very busy these days. However, I find it easy to take a break for my favorite relaxing time — reading. Thanks for the reminder of why we need to take embrace those times, Michelle.

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