One of the popular phrases used in coaching, as well as in many other walks of life these days, is “Life-Balance”.
But what does that mean?
What happens if I’m out of balance?
How do I know if I’m living a balanced life?
How in the world do I do everything in a day that it would take to be balanced?
There is actually something we can do everyday to increase productivity; to help heal our body; to help make us more creative; to bring true joy AND have a more balanced life….and it’s probably not what you think it is.
This one thing is -- REST.
I can almost hear the reactions to this, “There isn’t enough time in the day! Rest can’t be as important as taking care of everything I am responsible for! I don’t even get enough sleep every night, how can I find time to rest during the day?”
Don’t get me wrong-sleep is extremely important too. Studies have clearly shown that sleep deprivation can cause increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other problems.
But, I am talking about REST. I’m talking about those moments of not doing anything but focusing on resting our brain. If you take the time to do this, you’ll experience these tangible benefits:
Boosted creativity and productivity
Improved reaction time
Increased positive feelings
Finally something that we don’t have to work harder to achieve, just smarter! And I believe we all have the time it takes in our day to rest our brains, even many times a day.
God spoke in the Bible about the importance of rest. He even took a whole day off for it after creating the world, and we know it wasn’t because He was tired. He wanted us to see the balance in work and rest. The Word talks about entering into His rest by faith (Hebrews), and in Matthew 11:28 & 29, He says “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.” Rest for my soul sounds really good. What about yours?
So, how do we incorporate REST into our everyday life? By taking a physical action. Practice mindfulness by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, or going for a short walk in nature. Both of these things alone have many proven health benefits. Take a power nap! Just ten minutes can have a tremendous effect! Some other ways to bring balance to your everyday activities include daydreaming, listening to restful music, looking at beautiful artwork, stopping for a moment to pray, looking outside at the rain or the sun, or resting your eyes on the trees or the mountains. Maybe what feeds your soul is stopping to notice how the sun glints off of the curls on your baby’s head, or petting your dog until your heart rate calms down.
So put down the phone, close your computer and rest your eyes for 5 minutes. You are not wasting time, you are resting and refreshing your brain. I am fully convinced that finding ways to REST is the first and most important step into a balanced life.