When Rest Seems Elusive.
“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times, it’s essential to take time off and make sure your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” ~ Douglas Pagels
Sometimes rest may seem elusive to us because we’re so busy working for the pot of gold, our life goals, the next big achievement or accomplishment, on and on.
Slowly, our lives spin out of control and we don’t know how to stop the wheels from spinning.
Rest doesn’t just happen. Most of the temporary strategies we assume should help us get rest don’t work such as; sleep, vacation, medication and more. That’s if we want real rest not just a quick fix.
The truth is the amount of time that it takes for our bodies to unwind from chronic stress, chronic rest deficit due to lack or rest is so much more than we expected.
Real rest takes time, several weeks to months. It doesn’t happen from taking a few weeks of vacation or sleeping in on the weekends or taking medications to help us calm our restlessness.
Questions to Ponder.
If you wonder whether you suffer from a chronic rest deficit, take a few minutes to answer these 10 questions for yourself and find out.
1) Do you often feel tired no matter what time of day; morning, afternoon evening?
2) Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating on tasks?
3) Do you find it hard to control your emotions? Unexplainable fits of crying, anger outbursts, irritable, frustrated, depressed, overwhelmed?
4) Do you suffer from generalized fatigue, body aches or headaches with no known medical cause?
5) Do you feel distant in your relationships with loved ones?
6) Do you feel stuck doing mostly things that you have to do rather than things you enjoy doing?
7) Have you lost the excitement and adventure of life?
8) Do you rely on quick energy fixes like caffeine or sugar to help you get through the day?
9) Do you turn to comfort foods or wine to help you wind down?
10) Do you feel like your life is out of control, but you don’t know how to stop?
What did you find out about yourself?
These questions are not to create a quilt trip for you but to help shed light on areas that you maybe blind sighted to because of busyness.
Whenever I find myself slipping into a hurried, frantic and out of control schedule, there’s a scriptural verse that resonates with me always and reminds me to remain centered on what matters most.
“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. ~ Psalm 39:4
This verse wakes me up to the reality that life is only a breath away, filled with moments that slip away if we don’t embrace them. In a blink of an eye, our entire lives can flash before us and in that moment, we get to see the impact of the life that we’ve lived.
Let’s take a moment to just reflect on the life we’re living right now. Are you living a well-rested life that is promised to you or simply too busy to really enjoy the life you’ve created?
Life doesn’t just happen to us and rest doesn’t just happen to us either. In order to find real rest, we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives. Be very intentional to give ourselves the time it takes, to slow down long enough and recover our lives from chronic rest deficit.
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.
Susan Egbe-Tanyi, MD is a board-certified family medicine physician. She is also the founder of Empowered Women Faith Club, where she writes to empower women to live confidently knowing who they are as daughters of God and encourages weary moms to find strength in God through the journey of motherhood. She is a wife, mother of three treasured kids, a passionate follower of Christ, lover of nature and a servant at heart. She practices medicine in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three children.