This is a topic that I know many of you have heard about. I know that I’ve heard plenty a sermon, chapel talk, or even just advice about getting rest. Especially when I was in college; because that is the place of the unrested, unfortunately. It doesn’t have to be that way, but due to poor planning and procrastination, it is what it is.
You hear so much about a topic, and how important it is, but you really never grasp its importance until you’re placed in a situation that calls for it to be a necessity. Hence, here I am.
Throughout this series, there’s a problem. Then we ask “What’s the balance?” because there are no solid answers to the problem; gray areas abound.
Key words here are sacrifices and limits.
But first, some super quick general information on physical rest…
It includes things like sleep, time, and money. I’ll be focusing on these things mainly. Sleep is specific, but overall you can think of your physical health as well.
In regards to rest, the main problem for me is always overdoing it; I’m always sacrificing, and never putting limits on anything. Specific examples include:
- Not sleeping because I’m staying up doing things on my to-do list/talking to people when I could just stop doing what I’m doing/tell the people I’m talking with I don’t have the time.
- Spending money on myself, or even on other people just because I see something specific that I/the other person would like. But I probably don’t have the funds for it…
- Spending tons of time planning an event/waiting for an event to happen. What happens when people bail? Or if something else comes up? What happened to all that time I took planning out the perfect details?
- Wasting time on things like Netflix. Yes, I am guilty, and y’all know it (I’ve still got like five TV shows going at once right now).
- Never being alone. Always going out with other people, or even just going out alone but being surrounded by people.
So, Where’s the Balance?
For me, it’s balancing when to sacrifice, and when to limit myself.
As I said in my last post, I love doing things for people. This whole rest thing will not change that, but it will change how I treat myself in the process. Because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sacrificed things in order for other people to be happy, or for things to go a certain way, and half the time, the perfect scenario in my head doesn’t play out, and I’m left with the fact that I lost some time, money, or even sleep because of this.
In no way am I blaming people I care about for this; I blame myself. I place way too many expectations on situations and people, so I sacrifice all sorts of things because I forget that they are also human, and that perfect scenarios rarely exist.
Please don’t read this as me saying that we shouldn’t make sacrifices for the people we love. Sacrificial love is the purest and sweetest. Look at Jesus on the Cross. So yes, sacrifice some time, money, and even a little sleep if you are able to.
But keep in mind: we are not Jesus. I am not Jesus. I am human. I am limited. Therefore, I can only make limited sacrifices, ones that are wise, godly, and healthy for my sake, and the sake of whoever I am sacrificing whatever for.
Again, not saying I won’t make sacrifices – I will buy you a meal if you forget your wallet. I will stay up with you for a little longer if you’re crying, and need some advice. I will wait an extra thirty minutes for you outside in my car because you’re changing your outfit for the tenth time because you just wanna look cute when we go out.
But again, in all those scenarios…did you see the limits?
I realize that, if I’m lacking in physical rest, I cannot care, provide, or help those that I care about when they have physical needs. Or even when they don’t have needs, and I just want to give; I cannot give if I am not physically rested.
So, we know the problem. We see that there’s a balance that must be made here. Another big thing I must take into consideration is…
Be Honest with Yourself
As I’m being honest about this whole rest thing, I need to be honest about what I can/can’t sacrifice. I need to express my limits.
Which is hard for me because I want people to know that I am there for them. But I can still be there for them and still have limits. I can only do so much.
So, if I don’t have the time or money, or if, I need to go to sleep because of something like work the next day, I need to communicate it honestly. And if I’m honest, people will most likely understand. Having limits doesn’t mean I don’t love or care about people.
There are also some specific ways that can help me physically rest such as…
Have you ever stopped and just focused on your breathing for a few moments? It really places you in the present, relaxes you, and reminds you that, oh hey, you’re alive.
Meaning, going to bed at a decent time, and being okay with not getting everything on my to-do list done. It’s so hard for me, but if I’m going to be well-rested in the morning, then it’s worth it!
I have some of my favorite herbal hot teas that I like to break out every once in a while when I’m writing, or even just watching Netflix (not binge-watching though. Watching while I’m folding laundry or something haha).
And, of course, y’all must know my bubble tea obsession by now…
Currently, some of my favorite things to do are walking for like an hour around the island every day after I get home from work, and riding my bike around the island on the weekends. Exercise and fresh air!
One Thing and One Thing Only
To give my bank a break, I only splurge on one item per paycheck. Just to treat myself to a little something, that way I’m able to focus some of my other spending on others (but not all of it. Limits.).
These are only a few ways I’m teaching myself to get some physical rest. I’m doing poorly at it right now because I’m still up, and I have to get up early for work tomorrow, but it’s a process!
I have based all this off of the patterns in my life that I must break. Maybe you have similar ones; if you do, cool, let’s talk about it.I’d love to hear in what ways you find it hard to physically rest in (if you’re in college, I bet sleep is a major one!) If you don’t struggle with this, then I’m glad you get more sleep, and have more money and time than I do! 😀
I’m still realizing and growing in this area of rest, but I’m excited to really put all of this into practice. Ready to shake things up!
Let’s pick up tomorrow on mental rest.