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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!