I recently read an article titled, “Turns Out Money Can Buy Happiness.” The title caught my eye, and I wasn’t surprised by what the article said: people who spend money on time savers like hiring a housecleaner or taking a tollway were less stressed and happier than those who spent that money on material things. That wasn’t just true for the wealthy but for anyone who made a small investment in saving time.
When you find yourself with some free time, how do you spend it? Or do you struggle to answer that question because you don’t feel like you have any free time? As busy women in the workplace, finding “free time” can feel impossible. But what if you could take steps today to give yourself more of that free time to invest in your relationships, relax with a hobby, or refresh your soul by spending time with God?
Jesus Himself modeled prioritizing rest in the midst of busyness. Luke 5 tells us Jesus "often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” in between traveling and performing miracles. God has blessed us with a valuable resource, our time, that we must steward well. This requires implementing some restful habits.
Here are five things I do to build a rhythm of rest into my life to prevent burnout and refresh my soul:
#1 - Prayer and God’s Word:
I start each morning in prayer and a short Bible study. Spending time with God first thing gives me energy to tackle whatever the day may hold.
#2 - Spending time with 4word women:
Our global community of Christian women in the workplace energizes me. Running 4word is restful for me because it is my passion, and I leave every meeting with 4word women feeling reenergized and refreshed.
#3 - Sleep and exercise:
This one may seem obvious, but the busier our lives get, the harder it is to get a full night’s rest. I aim to sleep at least seven hours each night and try to leave Saturday mornings for sleeping in. Exercising each morning also helps me sleep better and keep my body healthy. These habits help me work hard so I can rest well.
#4 - Spending time in nature:
My husband and I intentionally schedule time away to hike outdoors. Being in nature, away from the hustle of daily life, is very restful for me. I love hiking among waterfalls and beautiful vistas in Oregon, and end every hike feeling so refreshed.
#5 - Vacation:
While it is important to prioritize regular times of rest in our daily lives, taking a week-long vacation helps me unplug. For almost two decades, I have taken a vacation with each of my kids. These trips refresh me and grow my relationship with my children.
Finally, I do outsource when I can. Your time is sometimes more valuable than the money you spend on things like cleaning and yardwork. Providing full-time care for my daughter as she deals with chronic pain and outsourcing things like tax preparation allows me to give more time to my family and to 4word and maintain a margin for rest in my schedule.
Even Jesus knew He needed time to rest. What steps can you take to follow His example so you are refreshed and ready to be used by Him? (If you'd like daily help with finding refreshment, pre-order our new devotional for women in the workplace: Be Refreshed)
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