“No rest for the weary,” is a phrase quoted all the time, mostly by busy people. It goes along with our society’s standard of wearing our busyness as a badge of honor. Even though we feel the need to stay busy and keep pushing ourselves, it’s also very important to get more rest.
In this post, I’ll share with you reasons why rest is so important to our bodies and minds. Then I will also share several tips that I use to get more rest.
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Why is Rest Important?
Most people know they need to get more rest. We have been told that all of our lives. But why is rest so important?
There are two main reasons why rest is so important. Rest can help you have better mental and physical health. Getting a good amount of sleep can also help you become more productive!
Get more rest for Better Health
Eating right, getting some exercise, and taking time to rest are all important for our health. But most people just focus on the first two pieces of the puzzle. Then we often ignore how important resting is to our overall health. I know I do.
Proper rest is so important for our health! Yes, we need to exercise and work hard. Being lazy isn’t going to help anyone. Taking a break isn’t lazy. Your body needs rest, just like it needs good food and movement.
Not getting enough rest can also affect our mental health. Lack of sleep leads to unclear judgment. Driving without rest is just as bad as driving after drinking. Your mind and body can’t react quickly if you’ve not had proper rest.
I have fibromyalgia, so sleep is very important for my overall health. Unfortunately, insomnia often goes hand in hand with fibro. I’m much more likely to become anxious or depressed when I don’t get enough zzzzzs. Because of my health issues, I’ve been forced to take a more active interest in getting enough rest. But I’ve found that the benefits are so worth it!
Become More Productive With Better Rest
Our society is all about keeping busy. We wear our busyness like badges of honor. The mom who makes all the goodies and plans all the awesome parties is the best mom ever! When did we turn parenting into a competition?
Most of us also feel the pressure to achieve and be the best at work too. It’s almost as if we think that if you don’t get to work early and stay super late, you must not care about your job. And heaven forbid you to use your weekends and vacation days to do something other than work!
People weren’t made to work nonstop. Our bodies and minds need to relax! And according to this HuffPost article, taking a break can (and will) make you more productive at work. So taking a break is not only important for our physical and mental health. It’s important for us to do our best work too!
Tips to Get More Rest
Now that we know that getting more rest is so important, we need to find ways to do it. Here are 5 tips I use to get more rest.
Set a Regular Bedtime
One of the best ways to get more rest or sleep is to set a regular bedtime. Going to bed at the same time every day will get your body into a natural rhythm. You’ll be able to wind down easier and get to sleep faster if you keep it consistent.
I am naturally sooooo bad at this one! In my mind, I’m thinking that I want to do one more productive thing before I go to bed. Sometimes I want to finish the movie or a great chapter of a book!
Over the years (with some coaching from my husband) I’ve learned that going to bed at a consistent time is much better for my body and mind. Getting enough rest is super important to me. So setting a consistent bedtime is one way I can do that!
Get Some Exercise for Better Rest
Physical activity is important for our bodies to stay strong and healthy. We have been told that fact for a number of years.
But did you know that exercise also helps you get more rest? Studies have shown that exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. There’s also research about regular exercise being used to treat insomnia.
What are some simple ways to add exercise into your day? Going for a walk or a bike ride are both great ways to start an exercise program. If you prefer something more organized, aerobics or martial arts classes might be the way to go. Even short bursts of activity throughout the day can be beneficial to your body. So, whatever exercise you can fit in will help!
Take Short Breaks Throughout the Day
But what if you’re super busy and can’t seem to find the time to rest? Even a short break or two throughout the day can help. All you need is a minute or two to rest and recharge!
Find a space where you can be alone, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Pay special attention to your inhale and exhale. Even a couple of minutes of solitude like this can help.
When my kids were little, a nice soak in the bathtub was a great way for me to get a short break. Now I also enjoy some solitude when driving to and from work by myself. Even if you only have a couple of minutes by locking yourself in the bathroom, taking a short rest break can help you power through the day!
Spend Time in Nature
Spending time outside is another awesome way to get more rest! Our minds and bodies do so much better when we can get some consistent time in nature. Even taking a quick stroll through the park on your lunch break has benefits!
When we spend time in nature, we are allowing our bodies to feel the effects of natural sunlight. Taking in sunlight will help our mind reprogram when to be awake. This natural rhythm will also help you sleep better at night.
There are several ways you can add a little nature time into your day. Walking the dog, planting a garden, or even setting out flower pots will give you more time outside. And more time in nature will help you rest better at night!
Schedule Rest into Your Calendar
We’re all busy. Most of us are over-worked and over-scheduled. So much so, we can’t even think about taking a break!
Since we’re all so into planning and scheduling everything, it makes sense that we schedule our rest. Put it on your calendar, or schedule it on your planner.
Maybe you only have a few minutes to rest. That’s okay! If you take the time to schedule it and make it a priority, you will get more rest and feel better.
Taking a day off every once in a while is good too. My job offers so many sick days and so many personal days every year. If you don’t use the personal days, they roll over into more sick days the next year. I never seem to have enough sick days, so I do like rolling a personal day over. But over the last few years, I am seeing that it’s important to take those personal days. I need them for my sanity and my mental health!
What Does Rest in God Mean?
Sometimes you feel like you can’t get any rest. I get it. All you need is a little time for yourself. But it’s not happening! You just keep spinning your wheels with no end in sight… Ugh!
Fortunately, there is one way you can get guaranteed relief from everything that makes you weary. And that is to rest in God. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, “…Come to me, Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (MSG) But what does resting in God actually mean?
Resting in God Requires Trust
In order to find relief with God, you must learn to trust Him. You have to learn to give everything over to Him. The big, enormous things threatening to harm you, and even the little ones that are stealing your peace.
Matthew 11:30 continues on from what I shared above, “Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG) Doesn’t that sound nice just reading it? But unfortunately for us stubborn women, giving up and surrendering anything is sooooo hard!!!
True Peace Comes When We Rest in God
You can start by simply reading the Bible. Then spend some time in prayer, giving all your worries and cares to God. As you become more comfortable sharing your needs with God, you’ll be able to open up more and surrender more of your life to Him. This will lead to true rest!
Psalm 23 1-3 (MSG version) says it best:
“God my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
God’s purpose for your life is to give you rest. Rest for your body and your soul. This is the only way to find true peace.
Bible Verses to Get More Rest
To finish, I’d like to offer a few of my favorite Bible verses on rest. These verses have reminded me to give my cares over to Him. By trusting Jesus as the savior of your life, I hope you find true rest for your soul!
“In peace, I will like down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Psalm 4:8
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8
“This is what the Lord says; ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls….” Jeremiah 6:16
Use the Resource Library to find printable coloring pages for these verses on rest (and many more)!!!