In today's fast-paced world, where there's always something going on, it's hard to find time to rest genuinely. Most people work seven to ten hours a day and then come home, where the work continues. There are kids, pets, and chores, among other responsibilities.
The average person feels guilty when they take a day to rest. They feel like there are so many other things you could do, and you feel like you're wasting your time sitting around in your pajamas watching movies all day. However, it's healthy to rest and rest a day doing nothing. Naturally, it shouldn't be a daily habit, but you should do it regularly.
In their latest novel, "Uncommon Influence: Saying Yes to a Purposeful Life," Tony and Lauren Dungy have an entire chapter on resting and its benefits. Tony Dungy says that some NFL players and coaches have a hard time relaxing, which leads to overworking, health issues, and marital problems. There are numerous ways to find rest and relax. Here are some reasons why we all need rest and shouldn't feel guilty.
Resting avoids burnout.
Tony Dungy tells a story of working with a specific coach, Coach Chuck Noll, who allowed players to rest and not think about football while they weren't practicing. He told his players to spend time with their families and engage with the community, reminding them that football would be there when they returned. Coach Noll wanted his players to have a life outside of football.
He knew that if you're constantly working and not resting, you'll become burnt out. Burnout happens when we become so physically and mentally exhausted that you're spending a significant amount of time resting doesn't feel like enough. You may feel constantly overwhelmed and stressed, eventually leading to physical symptoms like stomach pain or headaches. You'll lose interest in your work, feel tired all the time, and feel like everything you do isn't enough, which is bad on and off the football field.
Everyone has mental and physical limits. It wouldn't be good to work yourself to the point that you reach yours. Yes, it's good to push yourself, but not at the expense of your physical and mental health.
You'll keep your cup filled up.
Every car needs regular oil changes and gas to run and function properly. If you ignore your car's basic needs, it won't work and could eventually break down. Humans are the same way that we need to be refueled and refilled regularly. We should take time for ourselves to exercise, love, laugh, rest, eat, have alone time, and more. Depending on your lifestyle and other factors, needs can vary from person to person.
According to Dungy, even Jesus made time for rest. He worked hard, spreading the good news of the Gospel through teaching, preaching, and healing. He engaged with everyone He met but took the time to retreat and remove Himself from obligations. If Jesus took the time to refill His cup, why can't you? How do you keep yourself filled up?
You'll be able to help others.
When you're filled up and rested, you'll feel better about helping others and will do it willingly. For example, if you have a whole pizza, you'll likely share it with someone because you have enough or more than enough. You can't eat an entire pizza alone, or you shouldn't. If someone asks for one slice, it's not the end of the world.
On the other hand, if you only have two slices of pizza and someone asks for one, you can give them one, but you'll likely still be hungry. You'll spend time looking for something else to eat and could resent the person who asked for a slice. If you keep yourself well rested and filled up, you'll have more to give, so when someone asks for help, you'll be willing to help them because it's no big deal. If someone asks you for help when your tank is empty, it's harder to help joyfully and becomes a burden.
Resting is biblical.
While creating the world, God worked for six days and rested on the seventh, specifically in Genesis 2:3. If God, who is all-powerful, rested, why do we think we don't need rest? Even the Ten Commandments say we're supposed to rest on the Sabbath day and keep it holy, working for six days and resting on the seventh, in Exodus 20:9-10. When God made the world, He knew humans needed certain things, including rest. We can't keep constantly working, or there will be consequences. If God made it a point to command us to rest, that shows how vital rest is.
Resting is good for your health.
Your health varies on how well you take care of yourself. We've all heard that exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of rest are good for us time and time again. There's a reason why these things are constantly repeated; they're essential. Health is one thing that many people take for granted, but once it starts to decline, you see how valuable it is.
As you get older, your body starts to change. Certain things you could do with no issue when you were young suddenly become more challenging, and you'll begin to see consequences. You can't eat certain foods anymore or stay up drinking all night. You can do these things, but they cause issues. The same thing can be said about rest. You can constantly work for some time, but soon you'll start seeing problems and breaking down, which isn't worth it. Your health is so important. You only get one body, so you have to take care of yourself.
Tony Dungy ends his chapter on resting by saying that he hopes his children are devoted to God. He doesn't care about what his daughter got on a chemistry test or how many shots his son made in his basketball game. He says that we become the type of people we want to be by coming from a place of rest. You're doing God's work by resting and taking time to yourself.