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You should certainly safeguard your nerves and force yourself to take time, and not only for prayer and meditation, but for real rest and relaxation”.

Even though this quote was written over 100 years ago, how much more true is it today, when many of us are trying to do the job of 3 people, living a fast-paced life and hardly have time to squeeze in time to serve the Faith the way we want to.  I often wonder how ‘Abdul-Bahá would live his life in our western bustle, so that I can get some clarity on this subject.

In the Bible, we’re told that when God was creating the world, “on the seventh day He rested.”  He knew that moderation was needed!  I find it interesting that in this quote, we’re told to “force” ourselves to take time for rest and relaxation!

Even the Guardian went to Switzerland every summer, in order to get what he needed to continue serving the Faith!  Many of us are able to get away on vacations each year, but we often book in every minute so we can see and do as much as we can.  Although a change is as good as a rest, it’s not the same as “real rest and relaxation.”  For that you need to “be still.”

After working and volunteering full tilt for many years in a row, my adrenals were shot.  It was as though my car had run out of gas, and instead of taking time to fill it, I opened the door and pushed the car along with my foot, until I couldn’t do that anymore either.  Now I am “forced” to take time for real rest and relaxation!  But wouldn’t it have been better if I’d heeded this advice earlier?

Having a “Type A” personality, with an addiction to busy-ness and perfectionism, I didn’t know how to rest and relax.  Work to me was fun!  And I would take it with me on my vacation.  Once I realized how important it was for my health, and finding quotes like these, I slowly started to implement changes.  At first, I took time to journal, which is a great stress reliever but it still engages both sides of the brain and isn’t “real rest and relaxation”.  So then I forced myself to sit down and watch a movie or a TV show.  My favorites include:

  • M*A*S*H (I have the entire series which a friend taped for me!)
  • Touched by an Angel
  • 7th Heaven (I taped the entire series)
  • Heartland (I can watch the entire series online)

Later I tried different crafts and settled (for now) on counted cross stitch (which I used to do in my youth).

And finally, I’ve booked out one day a week in my calendar for “me time”.

What’s been your experience with needing time to rest?  Post your comments here.

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