Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Stressed? Get Away For A While

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog post are the author's only.  No medical personnel has been consulted.  If you have questions regarding your health, please see your provider.

I am feeling extremely blessed today!  The weather is beautiful down here in the Gulf and we were actually able to spend a few hours on the beach, doing absolutely nothing!

Growing up in a family where the word "vacation" was not part of our vocabulary, I appreciate the time I get to spend with my husband and children.  Sometimes, you just need time away to get refreshed and refocused. Even if it's just a walk in the park by yourself, do it!

A few weeks ago, I started losing sleep, worrying over a situation that was completely out of my control.  My health started to take a hit and I was not able to relax.  I became irritated with everyone and everything.  Believe me, I was not a pleasant person to be around.  My mind and body were screaming for a reprieve.  My husband was in the same boat.  His job is mentally stressful on him most days, but it was becoming increasingly so the past few weeks. 

Stress, of any form, can be damaging to your physical and mental state.  We both knew that it was time to do something and agreed on a little "getaway" with the family. A vacation was just what the doctor ordered! This is one area where science and the Bible actually agree. 

Science and Bible Agree

According to Psychology Today*,

Chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body's ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even ability to avoid injury. When you're stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you're more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won't digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you'll make poorer decisions. You'll also be less fun to be with, causing you to become more isolated, lonely, and depressed.

In all of His infinite wisdom, the Lord knew we would need rest before there were ever any studies to determine this.  His word is very clear on it. There are several verses that refer to getting rest:

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

And he said  unto them, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Mark 2:27

The last verse is a key verse.  God created a day especially for us to rest.  In all his wisdom, he knew that we would need that down time from the stress of everyday living.  

Find A Way To Get Away

Sometimes, it's just not feasible to go away for a week, or even a few days.  There could be family obligations that require you to stay close to home or monetary circumstances.  No matter the reasons, find a place to refresh and recharge.  Here are a few ideas that could give you that much needed "alone" time to get back on track:

  • Visit a local library and sit down and enjoy a good book.  You might even stay for a while and enjoy the quiet.
  • Take a walk in the park and watch nature.  
  • Enjoy a local coffee shop or bookstore.  
  • Take in a movie at the theater.
  • Visit a museum. 
  • Sit in a bubble bath and relax!
These are just a few ideas, but I think you understand where I'm coming from.  Find time to get away from the cares of life and get your energy back.  Believe me, it will be worth the time, no matter how long or short. 

* (Susan Krauss Whitborne, Ph.D. June 22, 2010. The Importance of Vacations to Our Physical and Mental Health. Website blog.

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