Rest and Relaxation
In olden times, we took Sabbath days. Now we have holidays and vacation time.
R&R times are important to maintaining mental and emotional health. Relaxing decreases blood pressure, relieves pain and improves your immune & cardiovascular systems.
The word ‘Sabbath’ means ‘to cease from your labor’. It comes from the Bible, especially the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:8). It doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything. It just means that you don’t do what you do for 40 hours/week. It also must be less stressful. Your body and mind need time to repair/rejuvenate themselves. Taking at least one day/week does that if you spend it doing something else less stressful than your job. We just weren’t meant to work or be stressful all the time. The physiological changes that occur during relaxation are just the opposite of what happens when we’re stressed.
This is why men like playing golf, fishing, tinkering around the house, watching TV, etc.
People have different ways of relaxing, but we all need time to relax and recharge our minds and bodies. Did you know that according to Dartmouth College 43% of adults are affected by stress and 75-90% of doctor visits are for stress-related conditions?
The Bible speaks quite highly of our need for rest and relaxation.
– God rested on the 7th day of creation (Genesis 2:1-3)
– God wants us to rest/relax one day/week (Exodus 20:8-11)
– The land was also to rest (Leviticus 25: 4,8-12)
– It is only in Christ that we find our ultimate rest (Hebrews 3:7-4:11 Matthew 11:28
Psalm 127:2 1st Peter 5:7)
Some things to do on your day off that are relaxing:
– go for a country drive
– spend time with your family in pre-planned, somewhat structured activities that doesn’t
have a lot of stress involved, like having a game night or going on an overnight trip
– go fishing or golfing or do work on your hobby. Anything to change up your routine
– listen to some quiet music
– read a book or the Bible
– go for a walk
– pray/commune with God
– listen to some clean comedy on youtube
Relaxing has the following medical benefits;
– protects your heart by lowering stress
– raises your body’s resistance to infections/colds/etc.
– boosts your memory
– lowers your risk of stroke
– lowers your risk of depression
– boosts your decision making ability
– keeps you slim. Stress makes comfort food harder to resist.
– eases acne (this is hard to believe but medical experts say its true)
– raises your libido, especially in women
– lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer
Website reference at www.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/relax/ &
Vacations are just as important. Taking at least one week is the best. After 2-3 days, your body really starts to wind down and relax. As a family, my wife and I wouldn’t plan anything on that day as we’d both be real tired. But the rest of the week was so refreshing. That’s why they call it recreation because our minds and bodies re-create themselves after 2-3 days.
We also made it our practice to vacation by ourselves. Our boys knew that we were setting aside time for just them. We created a lot of good memories with those times.
We keep a vacation box with all of our little momento’s from those vacations in it. Some people scrapbook them. I know one family that has a vacation room (its actually the parents office but they’ve put a lot of their vacation momento’s in it). Every Christmas, I produce a Christmas letter that we put in our Christmas cards, that details everything we’ve done in the last year. I’ve done this for every year since we’ve had kids. These annual letters make a nice little history of our family’s exploits.
We’re just finding out the effects that stress has on our bodies. God has known this all along. That’s why He prescribed rest and relaxation for us thousands of years ago.
Gee, I guess He knows what is best for us after all, doesn’t He?
1…”Grandparents – Michigan Style” by Link & Crowley (this has a lot of places to take your kids/grandkids)
2…”Hugs for Grandparents” by Dr. Larry Keefauver…stories, sayings & scriptures
3…any good Christian book on the Spiritual Disciplines with Solitude or Meditation (not the Eastern kind).
For His Kingdom,