Jackie McKool

Rest, It’s More Than You Think!

A Holistic Approach to Rest

Guilt.  For me personally, I believe guilt had been the greatest barrier to allowing myself time to rest.  Perhaps it stemmed from a good work ethic that my Dad and even my Mom, as well as the generations before them, instilled in us.  I come from a long line of successful, hard-working self-employed Lebanese entrepreneurs on my Dad’s side of the family; and a depression era, German family of 9 children on my Mom’s side.  Obviously, rest was a frivolous gift that there was no time for on either side.  Although I don’t recall a specific time that my Dad ever called me lazy, it’s his voice I seem to hear in my head when I am, Heaven forbid, resting.  But there is constant conflict with his voice in my head, and what I believe to be a vital part of optimum health and healing.

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I recall working with a functional medicine patient of mine years ago.  She struggled with a good handful of health challenges.  But no matter what she and I did to uncover the root cause, it seemed to no avail.  Then the seemingly miraculous happened – she finally was able to retire!  She had been so busy with her job, as well as raising 3 teenage boys and supporting her husband’s needs, that she literally took no time for herself.  And it was reflecting in her lack of health.  My response to her when she told me her good news, was: “Awesome!  Now you have time to take care of YOU!”  See my blog “Put Your Own Facemask On First” for a greater appreciation of this need for rest.

Holistic rest is vital to our health, and yet the majority of Americans are lacking in this vital necessity – right up there with air, water and quality nutrition, our bodies suffer greatly when we don’t have consistent, quality rest.

Rest is Different From Sleep

And while sleep is absolutely vital to our health, other types of rest are as well.  It’s these other types of rest that we are almost oblivious to, if not down-right resist doing.  In fact, until recently, I viewed these other types of rest as a luxury at best, or not a necessity at worst.  Then I heard a guest on Tina Yeager’s Flourish-ment Podcast, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, talk about “Sacred Rest.”  I think my mouth was hanging open in awe, and my heart was singing “Yes!” with joy as I heard her describe rest in a much broader context.  Here are the seven types of rest Dr. Saundra talks about and some of her examples:

Physical Rest

Active physical forms of rest to improve the quality of your passive rest can include: stretching, breathing exercises, soaking baths, and prayer walks

Mental Rest

Reclaim your mental territory and the things that are occupying your brain – what can you let go of, and what can you add in?  A suggestion she gives is choose one characteristic of God to rest on each day – peace, love, joy, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness etc.  Also meditate on a scripture that brings you these characteristics.

Emotional Rest

Take an inventory of those in your life – who drains you and who refreshes you – minimize or even eliminate those relationships who are draining your life.

Spiritual Rest

Some spiritual rest exercises could be:  meditating on scripture, prayer, praise & worship, and journaling.

Social Rest

Social rest is when we find comfort in our relationships and social interactions.  Isolation and loneliness are the two most common forms of social restlessness.  Prioritize face to face time with those who energize you.  And listen to those you feel connected with and learn from them.

Sensory Rest

We can be deprived of our senses that bring us rest, and we can also overload our senses with the wrong things – constant loud noises, sitting in front of a computer screen, T.V. or cell phone for hours on end, excessive amounts of toxic smells, including perfumes.  Even our taste buds can be desensitized to real food when we consume an overload of a fake, processed diet.  What is a primary sense that is constantly stressed for you?  Recognize it and be intentional about giving it a rest.

Creative Rest

A misconception of creative rest is that it is rest solely for creative people.  Creative rest is also not putting a demand on your creative ability.  If your day-to-day requires you to think outside the box, you will be prone to be deficient in creative rest.  Rest from creativity, and find your rest in creative spaces that are not your norm.

These are my summary descriptions from Dr. Dalton-Smith’s book.  I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of her book “Sacred Rest” and delve deeper into understanding rest from a more wholistic perspective.

But just as the self-explanatory names of these different types of rest describe, we need to rest in as well as from these various areas.  A few examples of me personally:  while those who know me would say I am an extrovert, and I am, I also crave solitude – especially after a period of great social interaction.  At those times I say a good weekend for me is when my car never leaves the garage.  I go nowhere, speak with no one, see no one, don’t even text with anyone – I just either hunker in my little humble abode, or I go for a jog down a deserted country road, or hike a mountain where no one else cares to go.  That is social rest for me.

Sensory rest is another – as I get older, and since I moved to the country and have spent a fair amount of time hiking in the backcountry wilderness, my senses can quickly become fatigued if not down-right easily assaulted.  A lot of traffic, a lot of noise, a lot of people, even a lot of smells, fatigues me quite quickly.  Think a shopping mall – ugh!  I need a rest badly after a visit to one of them!

I used to feel guilty, or worse, think I was sick, when I would desperately need to take a quick “power nap” after sitting and writing all morning (Creative rest).  Until I heard Dr. Smith speak – and then it all made perfect sense.  Thank You Jesus for the freedom this insight has given me.  I hope it gives you the same “ah ha” moment like it did me!  For more on Dr. Smith’s insights on Rest, see her book “Sacred Rest.”

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to take a sweet nap – minus the guilt of course!

To book Dr. Jackie for speaking engagements go to: https://jackiemckool.com/schedule-jackie/

See more of these blogs, in case you missed them, for greater insight to the Truth About Wellness:
“Is Wholistic Health Even an Option for Me?”
“What is True Wholistic Health?”
“How Do I Create a Healthy Balance for My Soul?”

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