REST, WHAT’S THAT?
“Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have.” — Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
I need to develop wisdom. I do not take the time to rest the way I need to. In my last blog, I shared how busy I am and how much I enjoy everything I am involved in. I recently was diagnosed with edema, and the person who provided the education about the issue told me I needed to sit with my feet up for at least an hour or two at a time. It is driving me crazy. I tried watching TV (I am streaming Blue Bloods) and reading (Stephen King’s book Fairytale) but kept falling asleep. So, I gave up and decided to bring my computer to the family room and work on my blog while resting in my recliner.
I thought that it would be appropriate to write about rest.
A good night’s sleep is a time of restoration for our bodies. Unfortunately, I don’t sleep well. I sleep around four to seven hours a night. That improved from two to five hours a night a couple of weeks ago. However, sleeping only four or five hours is insufficient for our bodies to replenish themselves. I have tried many bedtime routines to get a good night’s sleep. The thing that actually helped was journaling and figuring out what was bothering me. After discovering that issue through journaling, I slept eight hours.
Six Steps to Better Sleep – Mayo Clinic
1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep.
2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed.
3. Create a restful environment. Keep your room calm, dark, and quiet.
4. Limit daytime naps.
5. Include physical activity in your daily routine.
6. Manage worries.
Another part of rest is to do low-key activities without expelling much energy. The following are a few suggestions.
· Arrange flowers.
· Birdwatch (put a small birdfeeder outside a window)
· Cook or bake.
· Craft or work on an art project.
· Doodle in a coloring book.
· Enjoy a cup of tea.
· Fill out a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.
· Read a good book.
· Go for a walk (a stroll) and enjoy nature.
· Go to a movie.
· Binge-watch your favorite show.
The most crucial reason for resting is because God commands it. The fourth commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God …Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-10a, 11b).
I am working on keeping my Sabbath holy. I quickly get involved in things that don’t matter, doing laundry, picking up around the house, and when I was writing grants, working on them. I have time to do those things on the six workdays, so I don’t need to do them on my day of rest. Resting on the Sabbath does not mean I have to spend the whole day reading the Bible.
The following are eight suggestions on things to do on the Sabbath.
Pray. Spend time just talking with God. After a busy week, slow down and restore your relationship. Focus on prayers of thanks and worship. This day should be peaceful and relaxing.
No work. Give yourself a break. This is a free pass from God, and science supports the increase in productivity you will gain from this rest.
No screens. The effects of the constant buzz and typing in our phones and the bombardment of ads and Hollywood are more harmful than we know. So, turn off your phone, close your computer, and then you’ll use that time to read something wholesome or just sit in your living room and talk to your family. (No TV and no computer are the most difficult for me!)
Read supplemental material. Nothing beats the Bible, but if you take a day off, it is recommended that you read other Christian books that help your walk with Christ.
Exercise. This does something more than the physical. It clears your head, reinforces discipline, and gets you outside. Studies also show it can do what anti-depressant drugs do without harmful side effects.
Go somewhere. Being outside in creation helps you connect with God, and for those of us that sit in a cubical, it’s a nice change of scenery.
Reflection. This one is less tangible, but having a day where you think about your standing with God is healthy. Are there any areas I’ve been slipping this week? How’s my relationship with my spouse? Ask Jesus if there are any blind spots in your life that the LORD wants to rid you of. If you have any addictions from your past, do you see any signs that you’re backsliding? Sabbath is a perfect time to let Jesus examine you and your previous week.
Podcasts: Smartphones have some benefits, like the abundant podcast content. You can pull up people from all over the world speaking on various topics.
I am ending this blog with a fun quote, “The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” -Wilson Mizner
Enjoy your weekend and find time to rest.
Have a great week!