Aug 202017 1 Response

5 Ways We Seek Rest, But Don’t Get It

We don’t know what we need. Even when our intentions are pure and our motivation is energized, our inability to know the right thing to do hinders us from reaching our goals. It’s true in a variety of areas, but it’s especially true when it comes to rest.

No one doubts our need for rejuvenation. Our energies are limited and we know that we need to experience times in which they are replenished. While we don’t properly appreciate our need causing us to go too long without rest and to live in a continual state of exhaustion, we do understand rest is a necessary part of life.

Because we wrongly diagnose what will create energy and what will demand it from us, we often seek rest from the very things that make us weary. Even as we attempt to restore our resources, we are draining them even further.

5 Actions Which Drain Us More than Restore Us

1. Screens. Television, phones, computers, and tablets are not conduits of rest. They are unavoidable in our society, but we should never confuse them as sources of rejuvenation. They provide distraction, but not rest. They drain energy rather than recreating it. Vegging in front of a screen does nothing to restore your weary body or soul. It’s fine to do, but afterward, you will have to find a meaningful source of renewal. (One possible exception: It’s conceivable that a well-done movie can provide rest in certain situations. Good art restores us).

2. Kids Competition. Watching children innocently play can be a great break from the routine and a reminder of the important things of life. Watching kids compete is exhausting. We are pulling for them, hoping they have success. We live and die by every play. It’s part of parenting, but it shouldn’t be part of our rejuvenation toolbox.

3. Comfort food. A good meal with friends or family can be a great source of rest, but only when the focus is on the relationships more than the food. Many of us try to cope with exhaustion through poor eating and those habits make our weariness worse, not better. Fast food, high-fat meals, and comfort food might provide a temporary relief but they add to the problem over the long-haul.

4. Social Media. Not only does social media drain us because we receive the information via a screen, but the very concept of social media is not a restoring entity. Outrage draws attention far more than beauty. It’s part of our fight or flight mechanism. We are trained to fixate on possible threats. This is why a post you disagree with is far more likely to elicit a response than one you like. While we can be aware of this process, we can’t greatly change the process, so we must view all forms of social media as a drain rather than a recharge. The problem is that we often turn to social media in times of weariness. We use it as a distraction not realizing it’s adding to our problem more than solving it.

5. Secrets. The thought of revealing our fears, failures, and frailties is exhausting. We can’t imagine the shame and embarrassment which might come from letting others know who we are, what we have done, and what we are afraid of. However, keeping secrets zaps every ounce of energy out of us. Putting on a facade demands so much energy yet we continue to fool ourselves into thinking we must keep up appearances because we don’t have the strength to endure when secrets are revealed. Surprisingly, one of the most rejuvenating acts we can do is to drop the facades and to reveal our true selves. It’s liberating.

Rest is vital for proper human function. While the first two steps to rejuvenation are recognizing our need and making choices to provide it, those two steps will go to waste unless we understand what can deliver true restoration and what will simply be a mirage. If you are seeking rest, don’t go looking in these five areas.

One Response to 5 Ways We Seek Rest, But Don’t Get It
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