Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25)
It is strange, most people have extra time on their hands, but amidst the pandemic it is even harder to relax. I’ve talked to a number of people and many of them complain that they are having trouble sleeping and cannot relax. All this time to rest, and we just cannot seem to do it. Unless we figure it out, our level of emotional discomfort will continue to grow.
Brianna Wiest helps us in her article, “These Mental Tricks Will Help You Relax, Even in Uncertain Times,” by giving us the tools to unwind. Wiest warns, “Stop being so extreme about your downtime.” Sometimes we can overschedule ourselves. When we schedule our downtime, it puts pressure on us to relax, even when it doesn’t feel like the right time to do so.
Next, Wiest challenges us to “Stop thinking you have to earn relaxation.” We’ve been trained by any number of little voices from our past that we have to earn relaxation. The voices are wrong. Relaxation is as important as every other part of our lives. If we fail to relax, we become unable to function at our best. Over time, we lose our creativity and we burnout. Then, we are no good to anyone.
Finally, Wiest correctly points out, “If you don’t choose to relax now, you will be forced to rest later.” When we relax now, we do it on our time, under our control. If we are forced to rest later, we mentally shut down and we lose control over time and energy. Today, ask God to give us the self-confidence to relax, without guilt. When we appreciate ourselves, we recognize the need to re-energize. God will lead us through this pandemic, but it will require us to take care of ourselves and treat ourselves well. A big part of that self-care is making relaxation part of our daily lives. The more we do that, the less guilty we will feel and the more renewed we will become.