Another re-post from my blog…

Rest.  Relaxation.  Time out.  Vacation.

Whatever you call it, we all need it.  There comes a time when you have burned the candle at both ends for so long that you just can’t keep going.  You get restless, sleepless, foggy, exhausted, perhaps even anxious.

I’ve written before on the job search posts about “in the meantime”, which included a section on taking time to rest.  Job hunts can be very stressful, especially if your finances are not in good health.   Vitamins, fresh air, exercise, plenty of water, and sleep.  All of these are necessary to keep you going.

Of course, there’s the opposite time of having a job with a long commute and perhaps the kiddos are involved in extracurricular activities.  Perhaps you, yourself, are involved in some type of community service project, a ministry setting, or you are a mentor for a child or adult.  Either way, all of these things take time out of your day.

My previous post was on time management.  There are times when each second crawls by, but then at other times you look up and 10 years has flown by.  It’s good to make the most of each of these scenarios by using your time wisely.

However, after doing so for any length of time can began to tire you out.  Christianity and Judaism speak of a day of rest:  Sabbath.  Shabbat.  It’s set aside by God based on the Genesis model:  God created the universe in 6 days and rested on the seventh day.  When the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt after being slaves for many years, they had no concept of self-governance.  While they were in the desert, God gave them the 10 commandments and the law (Torah).  In one of those, you will hear the concept of Sabbath (or Shabbat).  Rest.  Take 24 hours to rest.

I believe it was during the French Revolution (I could be wrong) that the governing powers decided to make the week into 8 days.  The experiment was a complete failure.  The concept of rest is so strongly ingrained that they went back to the 7 day calendar.

Here in the west, we believe that if we aren’t busy all the time for every last second of our lives, that we are wasting time.  In fact, the opposite is true.  We burn out, we get medicated in some form or another, we have panic attacks, we turn to things that aren’t helpful to us, and we try to cram more into our lives, thinking that somehow we will feel better about ourselves or that something is wrong with us if we don’t.

I try to do chores during the week:  laundry, cleaning the house, and other things, so that the weekend is free.  Whether you observe the Sabbath on Sunday, or Shabbat beginning on Friday night, there is time to not have to focus on anything.  At first, I felt really guilty. I should be doing SOMETHING!  Turns out, after I got used to it, I came to expect it.  I seem to get more things done on time, things are more efficient, and I have time to spend with my family.  We have time to relax at the beach or a park.  We have to sit around and watch a movie or read a book. We have time to kick around the ball in the back yard.

It’s refreshing.  It’s nourishing to the soul.  It’s necessary.

So, the next time you begin to feel frazzled and near burnout, wrap up things that need to be finished, and put off a few things that can be put off (like vacuuming).  Spend some of that time focusing on resting.  Breathing deep.  Recharging.

Rest well, friends.


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