3 Ways to Say Yes to Rest

I was telling my friend Lori about how stressed I was feeling, and she told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear. As my plate was overflowing, she said I needed to rest! 


“Rest?” Are you kidding? I was too stressed to rest. How in the world was I going to figure out how to add rest into my life? It would be just another item on my already too long to do list. Just telling me I needed rest made me feel more stress!

Have you ever felt that way?  You may feel that way right now and that’s why you’re reading this. So, let me tell you what Lori told me. It will help you say yes to rest with minimal stress! She told me about a great formula she learned from Pastor Rick Warren concerning rest. It’s only three—count them—three easy things.

Divert daily.

Withdraw weekly.

Abandon annually.

What a practical way to get and maintain balanced rest. It worked! It will work for you too.Let me show you how I put this to use.

1. Divert Daily

Each day, I choose a temporary diversion—mental, emotional, or physical.

Sir John Lubbock wrote, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float across the sky is hardly a waste of time.”

Sometimes it’s reading a book, sometimes it’s a 15-minute power nap and sometimes it’s a leisurely walk or a phone call to a friend. Sometimes just a long shower or utter silence is the diversion I need. No matter how busy we are, we can find 15 minutes, can’t we?

What about you? How can you divert daily?

2. Withdraw Weekly

To withdraw weekly means you take time each week to pull back from your busy life. Just as the amount you can withdraw from a bank account depends on how much money you have to start with, so it is with our time. You may be able to withdraw for a whole day of rest and recreation. Or you may only be able to afford a few hours. The point is that you practice this discipline every week.

Some weeks I can only afford a few hours, so I use them wisely. I remove myself from anything that represents work to me. I am able to rest when I am removed from places of responsibility like my messy kitchen, my crowded inbox, and my cell phone.

How about you? How can you withdraw weekly? What can you do to grant yourself a soul Sabbath once a week?

3. Abandon Annually

A real vacation—a once a year getaway—ushers in freedom from your busy schedule and liberty from fatigue. In fact, the Latin word vacatio means freedom.

When your schedule cannot fit one more thing, here are 3 things you must do.
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Whoo-hoo! Don’t feel badly if this is hard for you. It’s hard for me too. Sometimes it’s difficult to carve out the time. Sometimes it’s hard to spend the money. And sometimes there is simply no time and no money. Just remember that a vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be a cruise or trip to the mountains. It can simply consist of a weekend at home watching movies and ordering pizza.

Just plan some time each year to abandon your regular routine, your long to-do lists, and your jam-packed life. You might even get really radical and leave your cell phone behind—or at least silence it.

Telling yourself to rest involves telling yourself how to rest.

What is a vacation to someone else may be pure mental strain or emotional drain to you. Have you learned what brings you rest? Determine what is restful for you. Your definition may be different from others, and that’s okay.

So, take a deep breath and make a plan for getting some rest… it’s not as stressful as you may think!

If you want to explore this more deeply, check out my Self Talk, Soul Talk book.  I wrote a whole chapter on it! Click here to find your copy.

In the comments below, share with us ways you can divert daily and withdraw weekly. We can all use the inspiration!

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