And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made, Genesis 2:2-3.
When we are faced by a stressful situation, it may happen that we respond by working harder, long hours with complete commitment, we may also cut back on sleep and rest.
This can be appropriate in certain situations and circumstances and for short periods of time. However, it is important to refrain from cutting back on rest periods that your body needs.
It is not only essential to sleep well on a daily basis, but also to rest and unwind during our holidays.
One can observe, for example, how all the great religions have a special day dedicated to rest. Jews have the Sabbath, following the Bible’s teachings about Saturday: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates,” Exodus 20:8-10.
The very early Christians changed the “Sabbath” day to Sunday, the day of the Lord, and Friday is the day when many Muslims go to their mosques to pray and rest.
In other words, we all need a day off -at least one day a week! We need to disconnect from the concerns, worries, and stresses of everyday modern life, have some time away from the tedious routine, time to relax and unwind, to build and nurture relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and people around us, to give meaning and purpose to our lives and be happy.
It is also strongly advisable that holiday periods, typically one month per year, are viewed as such, a time to recover, relax, and spend quality time with family and friends.
What can you do on holidays? Get closer and spend quality time with the people you care for, enjoy some leisure activities, play with your kids, visit you parents, eat out, practice your favorite hobbies, pray… These activities are a vital aspect of maintaining a stable and healthy lifestyle. Indulge yourself in those hobbies that you never had time for before, but are tremendously satisfying and rewarding.
It is time to travel and change scene, to reflect about your life and have a more holistic or spiritual way of looking at your reality, to make plans, to reorganize your life, to shift gears and embrace change, etc.
Let me emphasize this point one more time: rest and sleep are not a waste of time, but crucial for our physical and mental health, the key for both productivity and creativity. They enable us to tackle new challenges and opportunities with confidence, strength, and a positive sense of self. We feel rejuvenated and enjoy renewed energy and enthusiasm.
On the contrary, their absence reduce resilience, cause poor performance at work or school. It leads to an increased risk of injury and health problems. We could become workaholics, sad, bitter, and resentful, and therefore, we may even end up damaging or even breaking those relationships we value the most.