7 Essentials For Overcoming Weariness

November 18, 2014 — 9 Comments

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By default, most of us have taken the dare to simply survive. Exist. Get through. For the most part, we live numb to life – we’ve grown weary and apathetic and jaded… and wounded.

Ann Voskamp

A recent entry in my journal reads:

We must find time (margin) in our lives for reflection, refreshment, and recovery.

Life can be challenging.

I listen to so many podcasts and I read so many blog posts that tell listeners and readers to hustle – to work harder and longer than anyone else, so you can rise to the top.

I’m all about hard work, but I’m starting to see that it could be good to quiet ourselves – to be still – to take time for rest.

The battle rages on!

We are in a busy season of the year and a busy season of life with two very active teenagers.  I feel the pressure to keep going – to push harder – to be as active as possible – and to be at every activity and event.

You are supposed to finish the weekend feeling refreshed, but I’m exhausted as I type this on Monday night.

Working hard is an important discipline.  I will continue to press on.  But taking time to rest is also an important discipline.

I can’t get away from a busy week and a busy weekend ahead.  It’s on the calendar, and we are committed.  But I can look forward to next week.  I’ll be off for an entire week celebrating Thanksgiving and taking time to be around home with family.  It’s so important to have these breaks.  I pray this will be time to rediscover some margin in my busy life.

In order to truly conquer the tendency we all have to be weary, we must put into practice a few essential steps.

7 Essentials For Overcoming Weariness

  1. Get more sleep.  This seems a bit too obvious, but four to five hours of sleep is not healthy over the long hall.  I must get to bed earlier – especially if I want to get up at 4:10 AM everyday.  Sleep is key to overcoming weariness.
  2. Exercise.  When I miss my morning workout, I feel sluggish the rest of the day.  Get out and do something that raises your heart rate for at least twenty minutes a day.
  3. Eat healthy.  Garbage in, garbage out.  When we eat terribly, we will feel terrible.  If you want to overcome weariness and have more energy, eat foods that fuel you.
  4. Get outside in nature. Robert Louis Stevenson writes:
    “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

    I think he points to something quite obvious that we often miss especially during this time of year.  I arrive at my office as the sun is just coming up, and I leave my office when it is dark.  All work without seeing the light of day will leave us depleted.  Find time on the weekends and even at lunch time to get out of the office and into the “forest”.

  5. Practice the art of saying no.  We live in a yes culture.  Yes, I’ll join this club.  Yes, I’ll help out with this activity.  Yes, I can dedicate this amount of time every week to this cause.  Before we know it, our schedules are packed.  We must learn to say no if we have a chance at conquering our weariness.
  6. Spend time with God.  Charles Stanley writes:
    “We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.
    Isn’t it interesting that the first thing to go when things get busy is our time with God?  The Bible promises us in Isaiah 40:29 and Matthew 11:28-30 that God will provide rest to the weary.  If you want to be refreshed, go to the source of true refreshment.
  7. Practice regular hourly, daily, weekly, and yearly Sabbaths.  My Dad has told me repeatedly to take a minute of Sabbath every hour, an hour of Sabbath every day, a day of Sabbath every week, and an extended period of Sabbath every year.  I fail at this more times that I care to admit.  And yet, I know it works when it comes to dealing with weariness.  God designed the Sabbath for us – to enjoy, to recharge, and to rest.

I’m feeling better already!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 totally rested, 10 absolutely worn out), where are you on the weariness scale?  How do you overcome weariness?

Jon Stolpe

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, engineer, manager, runner, blogger, sax player, group life fan, freelance writer, and the list goes on...
  • David Stolpe

    3 right now, 7a week ago.

    • I’m doing much better now after having a whole week off from work. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I head back into the office.

  • Steve Y

    I definitely need to be in the Word more.

    • God’s Word is the foundational food we need every day. For some reason, we forget this.

  • Great post Jon, thanks for sharing this.

    I’d say I’m holding 6-7 based on 5-5.5 hours a night. When I feel overwhelmed by tiredness, I recall the story of Jesus sat by the well, wearied by the way He had come. Still He was ready to help another person. One more person saved from a life of despair and brought into the eternal sunshine of His love.

    Someone once told me “the more sleep you get, the more you want” and so we have to be careful not to over-indulge in it. I think the saying is correct that an hour before midnight is worth two afterward – so I’d better head for bed pretty soon!

    I do top-up once a week – Friday night I generally get 8 or even 9 hours which serves as a boost for the rest of the week.

    Apart from that, good boosters if you are fighting fatigue are fruit [especially banana], tea, chocolate [gasp!], or sparkling mineral water.

    Useful links on my site if anyone’s interested in more related tips and advice:

    http://www.wingstosuccess.com/hydration-for-water-averse/
    http://www.wingstosuccess.com/keeping-motivated-home-alone/

    • Great thoughts, Rick. I can’t do the chocolate thing due to the caffeine, but the other suggestions are spot on. We need to fill ourselves with the right foods – and this includes the Bread and Water of Life.

  • Lulu

    At the moment I am a three. I am in the middle of health challenges and I find that makes me extremely weary. The fight comes not only from illness and the mysteries around diagnosis, treatment, etc. – but the spiritual warfare that comes any time you are “weak”.
    Over the last few years the biggest relief from weariness is to say “no”. To realize that I only have so much time and so much energy and to spend it wisely. My best belongs to God. So often we put Him last thinking He’ll understand. We rationalize it all. If we set God a priority, like your Dad stated, then all the other things would fall into place. If we seek Him first then we just might realize, through the instruction of the Holy Spirit, that many of the things we do are not what He wants us to do. So much of what we do is because we are afraid of criticism. Then our pride mixes in.
    Thanks for the reminder!

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