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Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Nathaniel

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Your Dream Vacation: 3 Ways to Find Rest Now

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A weekend get-away to the Cayman Islands? Margaritas in Cabo? Lounging somewhere in the Pacific, getting a Shiatsu Massage and sipping a freshly-cut coconut spritzer?

Why have we so far romanticized the notion of “rest & relaxation” that we as Americans, can’t truly find that peace unless we’re out of our environment? We thrive on that meager two week vacation as if it has the potential to keep us in a perpetual state of R&R during the rest of the 351 days that we’re chained to obligations. I talked a little bit about this a previous article (Job Security vs. Dream Maturity). As the ambition to have more, be more, and do more continues to drive our economy, it becomes more evident that we’re pushing ourselves too far. And when we do get a little down-time, we’re over-indulging to compensate for the stress- Ben & Jerrying it on the couch for days, binge watching shows on Netflix, only further contributing to health complications.

When my brother, Kobby, healthy and athletic, passed away at the age of 35 due to artery and heart complications, it made me take a good, long look at internalizing stress. Sometimes it’s easy to think we’re not progressing unless we’re in a state of stress. He would never admit to being stressed out but I know he was losing sleep and over-exerting himself- at one point working two jobs, getting his Masters degree, and volunteering.

Stress is a killer. But it doesn’t have to be your story. Rather than living your life with the mindset that it should be vacated to achieve rest, learn to see rest and relaxation is a state of mind. Even in the midst of the greatest challenges, most trying circumstances, and most chaotic weeks, we can find rest.

3 Ways to Rev Up Your R&R and Find Rest Now:

RR51. Meditation– Doesn’t the word alone, sound intimidating? We’ve come to view meditation as a humming contortionist, bending into a backwards pretzel but it’s really a simple word. Meditation is focused thinking that can be done anywhere. The purpose is to clear your mind of all the worries and anxieties of the future by thinking over a positive thought or bible verse. It could be as simple as sitting down in quiet of the morning, thinking or saying out loud, “God loves me. God is with me.” for 10 minutes.

RR32. Sabbath– Another intimidating word, right? Mark 2:27 tells us (Jesus speaking to the teachers of religious law), “And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’” Yet for some reason, some of us still have this theory that it’s an obligation to rest one day week. It doesn’t matter what day we take; we just need to take a day of full rest. God said this for our benefit! We’re commanded by God to take one day of rest, not so He can punish us, but so that we can have time to worship Him in stillness and in peace, resting our physical bodies and minds.

RR23. Chew Your Food– I know this sounds out of place… but it’s not. According to Livestrong.com, chewing your food properly (i.e. so the texture is broken down), releases saliva that aids digestion. Too often, we eat on-the-go, in a rush, or in our cars- that we not only chew poorly, but also never even enjoy our meals. We’re so pressed for time that we’re practically swallowing our Chipotle burritos whole! And as a result, our digestive system suffers and has to put in extra work to break down what we didn’t- this leads to digestive issues such as ulcers, indigestion, and constipation which all affect our mood and even how we sleep.

Do you have any tips for finding your state of R&R? Comment below and let us know!  

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