Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had time for a nap each day? If, like little children, we climbed under covers and took a rest to refuel. That would be the life.
Unfortunately, adults don’t have that luxury. We have families in need of our attention and demanding jobs to get to each day. There is always something to do and places to be, and taking a rest just isn’t an option.
What if there were other ways to rest, though? If we take a look at our time and how we use our energy, we may just find there are a few things we could do to help us get through the day without dragging our feet.
Say no to more things
We don’t like saying no, because it means we’re letting someone down in the process. Saying no also could give us the appearance of laziness at work according to our boss or not doing enough for our child outside the home according to other moms. There’s a nagging voice of wanting to feel included (can anyone say FOMO?), and so we eagerly say yes regardless of our mental state.
What would happen, truly, if you said no? People might grow frustrated or disappointed in you, but they would eventually forget about that. If you are gracious in your no, then they have no reason to complain. You might miss out on an activity or time with friends, but there will always be more evenings spent in fellowship.
When you say no, you allow yourself a little bit of extra time to rest and relax. Saying no at work means you have freed yourself from extra stress, because you know you wouldn’t have been able to give that added project the attention it needs. You also save other people from enduring your exhaustion and your half-in, half-out mentality. It frees you to focus more on one or a few things at a time. This, in turn, helps your mind feel more rested.
Quiet your mind before sleep
If you’re the type of person who likes to get as much done as possible when you get home from work or school, you most likely cause yourself some exhaustion for the next day. When you’re on the go right until you collapse in bed, your mind doesn’t have time to rest and relax. Sure, you’re about to sleep for the next six or seven hours or so, but you won’t feel very rested when you awaken.
Have you ever woken up feeling as if you just put your head on the pillow? That’s probably because you didn’t truly rest before falling asleep. Here’s the challenge, then: Take at least 30 minutes before falling asleep to relax. Don’t look at anymore screens, and don’t make a to-do list for the next day. Instead, read a book, have a conversation with whomever you live with, spend time in prayer or reading scripture.
You will probably find the next morning how much more refreshed you feel, and you’ll be ready to face the day. All because you spent that time relaxing before falling asleep.
Find rest in God, not your circumstances
Let’s be real. Many jobs don’t allow any downtime or stress-free days. Parenthood, ministries and organizations that are short-staffed, to name a few. People can inform you of multiple ways to rest in the midst of these circumstances, but unless you go first to God in order to find rest, you will never truly relax.
David said it beautifully in one of his many Psalms.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
We must remember that our honor does not depend on how much we can heap on our plate at work. It also does not depend on what other people say about how much we accomplish. Our honor depends on God. He is the only One who will enable our minds and souls to rest beyond the physical.
If we attempt to rest without including God in that time, we will fail. Truly resting physically and mentally means surrendering our circumstances to God. It means spending time with Him and focusing our thoughts on Him despite our busyness.
No, we most likely will not have time for a daily nap. But we will always have time to rest in other ways, even if it’s a simple reminder to your soul to find rest in God alone.
Let’s Talk About It: Why do you struggle against finding rest in God above all else?