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Creating A Weekly Day of Rest You Will Love

From the Monday Mission, October 5, 2020

What if I said to you that every single week you can have a vacation? You would be excited, right?

Well, I’m going to argue that most of us do have that option. It’s called taking a day of rest.

We often feel like we can’t take a break. We power through the work week or our children’s school week and then catch up on whatever we missed over the weekend. Sometimes it’s easier to love other people and their needs than to love ourselves and care for our own bodies.

But we can’t afford to not take breaks.

Eventually we will run out of steam and it won’t be pretty. Either our physical or mental health will decline and force us to rest in a way we don’t really want.

Assuming we are incorporating restful ways of living into our days, why do we need actual time off?

It helps us to reset. It delineates the days of work and productivity and the days that are solely for enjoyment. It provides more focused time for the alone time we crave (hello, Introverts!) and also for relationships.

Here’s the key that has made a difference for me — a day that’s set aside for rest is not just about doing nothing or sleeping or being bored, although you can do that too. It’s about fueling ourselves with the things that bring us joy. It’s for that deep inner kind of rest.

Is it hard to imagine taking a full day of intentional rest?

Here are some activities a day of rest might include:

  • A long picnic at your favorite park (with little food prep) or in the backyard
  • Watching a documentary or movie
  • Spending time on that hobby you love with few distractions
  • Yoga pants, a blankie, and bed head (my favorite)
  • Reading a book, painting, or some other creative endeavor
  • Window shopping
  • Doing your favorite outdoor activity or exercise
  • Family worship, prayer, conversation around the dinner table, games, long walks
  • Having your family serve you for a change (!!??)

How to make the most of your rest day:

  • Put all work aside for the day (even housework) as it will magically reappear the next day
  • Prep food in advance so you don’t have to cook if that’s not enjoyable for you
  • Leave devices behind
  • Take lots of deep breaths
  • Eat delicious food
  • Spend extra time in prayer, worship, or devotional time for a spiritual refilling
  • Trade some hours with a friend who also has kids for free babysitting
  • Intentionally process or journal heavy thoughts or challenges if needed so you can start the next week feeling lighter
  • If you do social activities keep preparations light, this isn’t the time for a pinterest-perfect party
  • Keep any exercise enjoyable, think recharge not push to the limits

When we create days like this we give ourselves time to recharge mentally and physically and enjoy the rest of our work week. Obviously this is not my invention because God created the Sabbath and asked us to keep it. But I think it helps to paint a picture of what rest can actually look like practically.

If you’ve never taken an intentional full day of rest, try it this weekend. It might be easy or it might be very difficult to lay the busyness aside. But keep your personal motivation in mind – when you are well rested you are more capable of living out the good purposes for your life and nurturing the relationships around you. That’s worth every effort. Plus, I think you will find rest days to be fun once you get used to them.

*** New Friends – If you are not subscribed to the Monday Mission and you would like to receive  encouragement to live with peace and purpose in your inbox every Monday, please join us here.

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