Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making a case for a day of rest

Cone flower
"The hurried I go, the behinder I get."

Seems that the ancient Biblical mandate to take one day off of work a week is now being recognized by psychologist and neurobiologists as valuable. Rest it seems is essential for us to think clearly and make quality decisions.  An article in the Denver Post by Electa Draper, Getting a day of rest powerful for even the nonbelievers, briefly describes some of the research being done in this field.

The brain finds a flow of information helpful for decision making, however if it is flooded, much like a car with too much gas, it won't function well.  Somewhat ironically, if the brain is provided quite time to rest it often percolates up ideas and solutions from the subconscious.  Joan Borysenko has written a book "Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive" for busy folks who need a reminder to give their brains a rest in order to be more productive.

Dr. Borysenko, a Harvard trained Biologist and Psychologist, recommendations that we consider the enjoyable hobbies and activities of our youth, and to then schedule time to regularly participate in such activities.  One Amazon website reviewer cited the following excerpt as a summary of Borysenko's book... "To prevent burnout, listen to yourself, rest when you need to, and love your body in the way you eat and what your senses take in...spend time in silence, meditate, take walks in nature. Talk or write, but don't let anything fester." (p. 144)

A personal example. Yesterday a good friend from church called asking if I might want to play touch football that afternoon.  I already had plans, but intend to add it to my Sunday afternoon schedule for the weeks ahead.  Even getting beat long by a teenaged guy beats lying on a couch and watching some overpaid profession football players beat each other up.

What were the things that you enjoyed doing during your younger years? Perhaps it is time to work them back into your schedule.

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