Time Off -The Importance of daily rest, the weekly Sabbath rest, and vacations


Taking time for rest and relaxation is crucial for both physical and mental health. Scientific evidence has shown that chronic stress can have negative effects on the body, including increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, chronic stress can also lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.Taking time for rest and relaxation, whether it be daily rest, observing the weekly Biblical Sabbath rest, or vacations, can help to reduce stress and promote overall health and well-being. 

Getting enough sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Children and teenagers require even more, with recommended ranges varying depending on age. Infants should get around 14-17 hours of sleep per day, toddlers should aim for 11-14 hours, and school-age children should get 9-11 hours. Lack of sleep has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. It's important to prioritize getting enough sleep each night to ensure optimal health and well-being.

According to the Bible, a weekly Sabbath rest is commanded. The Biblical Sabbath rest involves setting aside the seventh day (Sabbath) of each week for rest and worship. One of the most well-known verses regarding rest and relaxation comes from Exodus 20:8-11, a part of God’s 10 commandments, which states:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Taking a weekly Sabbath rest, as advocated in the Bible, has been shown to have significant benefits for both physical and mental health. Research has found that regular rest and relaxation, including a dedicated day of rest, can improve sleep quality, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and even decrease the risk of heart disease. One study published in the Journal of Community Psychology found that individuals who observed a weekly day of rest reported higher levels of life satisfaction and happiness. Additionally, taking a Sabbath rest can also provide a much-needed break from the constant demands of work and daily life, allowing individuals to recharge and reconnect with their values and priorities. Overall, the scientific evidence supports the idea that taking a weekly Sabbath rest can be a valuable tool for improving overall health and well-being.

There is a growing body of scientific research supporting the benefits of taking regular vacations for improved health and well-being. Vacations have been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health. One study found that people who took vacations reported lower levels of stress and greater life satisfaction than those who did not take vacations. Other studies have linked vacations to reduced risk of heart disease, improved sleep quality, and even increased creativity and productivity upon returning to work. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that taking vacations can lead to reduced stress and increased feelings of well-being. Taking time off from work and daily stressors through regular vacations can be an important step in maintaining optimal physical and mental health.

To incorporate these recommendations into your daily routine, it's important to prioritize rest and relaxation as part of your overall self-care routine. This can include taking breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge, setting aside time each week for leisure activities, and planning regular vacations or time off from work. Additionally, to observe the Biblical Sabbath rest, it can be helpful to plan ahead to ensure that this time is dedicated to rest, worship, and spending time with loved ones. 

Taking time off for rest and relaxation is crucial for maintaining good physical, mental, and spiritual health. The MY HEALTH pneumonic reminds us of the importance of incorporating rest into our daily routines, observing the Biblical Sabbath rest, as well as taking vacations. Jesus himself emphasized the importance of rest, saying, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). By following these principles and incorporating rest into our lives, we can experience true restoration and renewal, both physically and spiritually.

Back to blog