Too Busy to Rest
If there was an Olympic award for busyness, my husband always says I would earn a gold medal, to prove that I just didn’t know how to slow down and rest.
Who had time to sit around doing nothing when there was so much to be done? I justified, as the adrenaline rush of always being on-the-go, fueled my frantic schedule full of activities with literally no breathing room.
5-years ago, I had barely recovered after giving birth to our second child 2-weeks prior, and off I went, traveling for job interviews out of state because we were planning to relocate from Omaha, NE to Charlotte, NC.
When some of my interviewers heard that I was only 2-weeks postpartum, they couldn’t believe it. They must have thought that I was insane to leave my 2-week old baby at home, in pursuit of who knows what, a successful career I suppose.
Looking back now, I can’t help but wonder what on earth I was thinking, pushing my body so hard, to the brink of a breakdown. A few years later, it seems the way I treated my body has finally caught up with me.
Forced to Rest
Feeling physically run down and always tired, I now need naps during the day to recharge, because it’s the only thing that reenergizes me to survive the demands of the day. I never thought I’d get to this point.
If only I had taken the advice of people much older, who certainly knew more about life and the importance of rest to your health, I would have spared myself the agony of learning the hard way.
But isn’t that like most of us, we simply can’t slow down until we learn it the hard way. Your body reaches its capacity and shuts down, forcing you to rest.
Our bodies need physical rest to:
• Refresh and
• Restore the energy that is lost through life’s demands.
Rest is not an Option
There are both passive and active forms of physical rest. Sleeping and napping are the two most common types of passive rest. Whether or not you choose to sleep, eventually your body will shut down because it needs respite.
Sleep is not an option. It is vital for health.
Sleep is not the only form of rest. There are active forms of physical rest that improve the quality of your passive rest. They include:
• breathing exercises
• soaking baths
• prayer walks
• relaxation poses.
Active physical rest releases the tension in a stressed body and restores the stillness.
Athletes recognize the importance of stretching after an workouts and rest days after intense physical activities. But we moms lifting our twenty- or thirty-pound toddlers a gazillion times a day don’t think to stretch our arms and neck muscles.
What is Your Body Trying to Tell You?
Our tendency to carry stress in specific areas of our body determines the kind of active rest we need.
Your body is communicating to you whether you choose to listen or pay attention to what it’s trying to tell you.
• Does your neck feel tense?
• Is there pressure behind your eyes?
• Do you sense a headache looming?
• Are you grinding your teeth?
• Do your back muscles feel strained?
You can pretend like the need for rest does not apply to you, but your yawn and the weariness in your eyes tell a different story.
None of us are at our best when depleted. Our bodies cannot fully function when they are in a constant fight for excellence, high performance, maximum effectiveness, and optimal capacity.
Honoring our body’s physical need to rest is not a sign of weakness. So, make an effort to find what restores you. Explore what types of active physical rest produce a deeper level of restfulness, peace and well-being.
Rest is a time-tested weapon that can help you be victorious in the race of life.
Mom, need some ongoing encouragement?
I’ve created “30 Scriptural Prayers for Moms” as a special gift for you, as well as other spiritual resources.