As parents we have a responsibility to our families to help them find time to pause. The easy part is telling our children to slow down, be mindful and find moments of rest. The difficult part is modeling it.
Helping our family find healthy balance does come at a price. If you have teens, the prices is, well, you know. Verbal pushback, possible complaints and a general sigh of “this is boring.” The reason why we need to “Know Family Rest” is so we “No Family Stress.”
Stress in Today’s Modern Family is much different from stress in previous times in two distinct ways. First, today’s stress has increased with our accelerated pace of life and Second, our modern technology has reduced the availability of recovery time.
Work or over-work, doing or overdoing used to be done in chunks of time. Someone who was a workaholic two thousand years ago would probably work 10 straight hours in the field, and then that person was done. There was a predictable ebb and flow to their lifestyles. Recall the stories in the book of Exodus, for example. Life had less stuff, fewer choices, less clutter. I’m not saying the Israelites had less stress. But their stress was different from what we now experience. They didn’t have the capability to be “on,” or connected, all the time.
Work or over-work, doing or overdoing now is rarely done in chunks of time; it’s an ongoing process! Our personal lives are intertwined with work. Our modern conveniences have allowed this style of living. The Internet, smartphones, tablets social media––our connectivity––allow us to be on and productive all the time. Doing comes in bursts of productivity throughout the day, not in one or two chunks of time as it did several hundred years ago. (Or 20, 30 or 40 years ago.)
3 Ways To Know Rest and No Stress
1. Relax our Bodies
Taking deep breaths, having a hobby, listening to music, taking a nap. What helps your body to relax? What can you do as a family to relax together? A walk, a hike a movie, dinner out, dinner in?
2. Rest our Minds
In today’s Modern World it’s our mind, not our body, that takes most of the beating from stress. We may be sitting down resting our body but our minds are active perusing eBay, amazon prime, or various social media sites. Are we really resting our mind? Sorry, the answer is no. Taking moments to stop and watch a sun set and enjoy the natural beauty around us will go a long way to help our minds rest.
3. Recover our Emotions
The stress that gets to our families today is the constant connectivity and compounding over-commitment that comes from an inability to disconnect or unplug from work moments in healthy ways. As a result, our emotions have no time to recover. We feel on edge, anxious and worried. When asked why we are stressed emotionally, we may not be able to point to a single event but rather a way of life that is causing us to feel that way. We can’t allow our emotional self 5 minutes here and there to recover. It take planning, scheduling and a bit of retreating to find it.
Remember, Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6 NLTse
Take a moment here, now. Open up your calendar––it’s probably already in your hand or at least nearby––and pick one day in the next week. Block off 60 minutes of time one evening and call it Family Rest. (Don’t forget to tell your family about the rest time, and make sure all of you remember to do it.)
I do apologize here for the blunt statement but I am just going to say it how I’m feeling it…”When serving others causes us to consistently neglect our families we have a problem. Signing up for every opportunity that comes our way, without giving a thought to the cost it will have on our families is unhealthy.” Before making a family commitment make sure to talk it over with your spouse.
Which one of the three ways to “Know Rest” is the hardest for you?
How will you find a way to practice it this week?