Counselor’s Corner: Listen When Your Body is saying to Rest
In our fast paced culture, being busy is a mark of success. But is it really? Being busy and on the go all the time can create havoc on your physical bodies. Not getting the proper amounts of down time can cause stress and a decrease in your immune system. If you are under any additional stress in your life, then taking time to rest your body will be essential; otherwise your body will cause you to rest.
If you have any chronic stress in your life, taking sufficient times of rest can help rebuild your energy levels and aid in strengthening your immune system. In our society we are not taught that rest is good, in fact, we are encouraged to “burn the candle at both ends.” Life is short no matter how many years that you live. You can work constantly and never take vacation time and you can stay so busy with outside activities that the day is just a blur. What’s the point in working so hard you can’t enjoy the simple things in life? For more money, a better title/position, or to get the applaud of others? There usually is a time in everyone’s life that you have to work hard such as when you are in college and have to work full-time, and sometimes people have to work two jobs because they are a single parent. I am not referring to people who are in the “you gotta do what you gotta do,” phase in their life, but for people who never, ever rest. Even when you are in a stage in your life that is hectic, you can still carve sometime for rest. We all get time off, but many use their time off unwisely by running and doing when they may need to rest. Yes, there are times that you can “play hard,” just not when your body is saying, “I feel tired.” Many push themselves and their limits and end up getting sick.
Your life should be balanced. Equal amounts of time for work, play and rest. Some days you may need a little more rest because of persistent stressors that can exhaust your energy levels and diminish your immune system’s ability to fight colds and viruses.
Reflect and ponder: Do you push yourself to keep going and doing when your body is telling you it needs rest? Why do you believe you feel the need to keep going?
Your body will let you know when it needs rest. If you have experienced several of the following, your body may be saying, “Slow down.”
· Fatigue. Difficulty getting up in the morning
· Difficulty staying or falling asleep
· Difficulty concentrating
· Distracted and lose of focus
· Irritable, short-fused, or agitated
· Upset stomach
· General malaise
· Easily frustrated
· Appetite changes-decrease or increase in eating habits
· Sighing frequently
· Shortness of breath
· Loss of motivation
· Lack of creativity
What can you do during your times of rest?
1. Turn off your cell phone and check at the end of the day.
2. Do not engage in social media. Checking your Facebook status will not cause you to rest.
3. Lay down and take a nap.
4. Watch a movie that is enjoyable and eat your favorite snack.
5. Take a warm bubble bath.
6. Take a leisurely walk in your neighborhood.
7. Get your chores out of the way so you don’t do any chores during your time of rest.
8. Read a good book.
9. Spend quiet time with God. Be still and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak.
10. Spend time just “soaking” with worship music.
11. Sit outside on observe God’s beautiful creations.
What not to do when your body needs rest:
1. Running to and fro when your body is depleted.
2. Hanging out with people who drain you.
3. Checking your phone, texts, emails, and social media.
4. Doing heavy chores or chores that take a while to complete.
5. Worrying and analyzing your problems over and over.
6. Doing anything that would cause stress.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.
Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them,” Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”