Rest for the Stressed

“Life in the fast lane” is pretty normal for people these days.  Unfortunately, for many, their fast lives have left true rest in the dust of deadlines, daily pressures, junk food, and quick fixes for mounting stress—with no end in sight.


How few experience genuine rest—the kind that refreshes and rejuvenates. This is the repose that comes from experiencing all three dimensions of rest—physical, mental, and spiritual. Have you been so busy speeding down life’s frenzied freeways that you’ve not seen the rest stops lately? Here are a few tips to help alter any pedal-to-the-metal lifestyle.

Physical rest.

Proper sleep is part of a healthful lifestyle. Most people need about eight hours of sleep, and the best quality sleep is the “lark” pattern of “early-to-bed” rather than the “night owl” habit. Lifestyle affects sleep patterns, and sleep affects overall health and mood.

Trying to correct poor sleep habits without considering lifestyle factors is a losing proposition. Factors that contribute to insomnia are lack of exercise, eating late at night, diets high in sugar, the use of caffeine or alcohol, and certain drugs. Another major factor that causes sleep disruption is a frenzied, irregular schedule!

Exercise; a healthful diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; plenty of water; and stress management are important keys to achieving quality sleep.

Mental rest.

Like any other computer, your brain needs rest. Constant mental taxation can overload your brain’s “circuitry,” causing a crash—depression, mood swings, and poor concentration. Give your brain a break. Take time each day to do something unique, something that allows your brain to switch gears. Sit on the porch and enjoy the sunset; read an inspiring short story; visit with a friend; listen to classical music. Let your brain’s overloaded circuits rest, and you will work smarter and happier the next day!

Spiritual rest.

Don’t neglect your spiritual needs. The Bible calls Jesus the Prince of Peace[1] and He promises that when you are weary and anxious, He “will give you rest!”[2] God has promised peace and rest to every troubled, burdened soul.[3] He knows all about the burdens that are so hard to carry—guilt, unforgiveness, perplexity, pain, and disappointment. He has promised to take those burdens and exchange them for His peace, power, and rest. We are taught how to find His peace and rest through reading His inspired Word, the Bible.[4]

Christ is so interested in our peace that He has even given us a day of rest, the seventh-day Sabbath. Here we find physical insulation from the pressures and stresses of work, mental rest from care and worry, and spiritual rest in Christ.[5]

Tired of the fast lane? Passed too many rest stops lately? Rest. You’ll be glad you did!


[1] Isaiah 9:6

[2] Matthew 11:28-30

[3] Proverbs 15:15

[4] John 16:33

[5] Hebrews 4:4-10

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Vicki Griffin MPA, MACN

Director of the Lifestyle Matters Health Intervention Series, Director of Health Ministries for the Michigan Conference, and the Editor of Balance magazine and Balanced Living tract series. She has authored numerous books and teaching materials for community health education, including three cookbooks which feature easy, fast, economical and nutritious plant-based recipes. Vicki is a yearly guest professor at the School of Osteopathy at Michigan State University, and has guest lectured on nutrition and lifestyle at Michigan State University Medical School, Cornell University, Loma Linda University Heart Institute, and Andrews University.

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