According to Oxford Languages, the definition of rest is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Rest is a concept that is not commonly spoken about in the American culture. Our society is often go, go, go. However, rest is essential for our physical and emotional well-being. When I think of rest I look at it in four stages.
Relaxing allow you to shut off mentally and/or physically. Figure out what helps you relax. Is it a long walk? Or gardening? Or napping? I choose to relax in several different ways. I read a good book that helps my mind escape, when I need to mentally relax. When I need to spiritually relax I find a quiet spot, pull out my journalling Bible, and find rest in God’s Word. When I need to physically relax I get in my RV and travel.
Healthy food is not only physically helpful, but mentally useful as well. Once I’ve been able to relax I can take the time to cook healthy meals. I no longer feel the rush to grab whatever is quick and easy (it’s usually very unhealthy). When I eat well I have more energy and can think clearer.
A good night’s sleep can also provide mental clarity, as well being a physical necessity. When I’m relaxed and have eaten well I’m able to sleep so much easier. While I wake up I still have the same problems I had the day before, however they are much easier to deal with because I’ve relaxed, eaten well, and slept better.
Take Care of Yourself
Many people who take care of others, such as medical professionals, caregivers, educators, parents, etc., often forget to take care of themselves. This is an area people can’t afford to forget. Please don’t misunderstand, taking care of others is incredibly important…it’s one of the reasons I’ve been an educator for over 15 years. However, it’s a lot harder to take care of others when you haven’t taken care of yourself. I take care of myself by taking the time to relax, eat well, and getting enough sleep.
I wish I could say I say that I choose to REST 100% of the time, but I honestly don’t. It’s a daily battle to remember to do this, but it’s a battle that’s worth fighting. I hope you will also choose to REST for your physical and emotional well-being.