Are you exhausted?
I’ve spoken to a lot of people this week and many people say they are utterly exhausted. This surprised a lot of people. They think, “I’ve been at home, I’ve been sitting in front of the computer. I shouldn’t feel tired.”
If you are feeling tired, there are good reasons for it.
First of all, New Zealand has been under the largest social change it will probably ever experience. We know that change is tiring. Getting used to a new routine, learning new computer software, and learning new ways of doing things requires a lot of effort, so it’s natural that many people will be feeling really tired.
On top of that there is the emotional effort of being in the middle of a disaster.
It is emotionally draining to see what is happening around the world. It is important to consider the impact this is going to have on many people.
So, many people this week will be feeling really tired and exhausted. Some people think they shouldn’t feel this way, or maybe they’re not very strong and able to manage this. It’s important that we acknowledge there are good reasons, as I’ve just mentioned, for you to feel tired. If we put pressure on ourselves to achieve lots of things and do more when we’re tired, this just makes the situation worse.
So, this week what I would say in terms of advice is just take some time out, take some time to rest and recover, because let’s face it, the last four weeks have been emotionally draining.
Sometimes we look down on people that rest, but if we read the Bible we see that on day seven when God created the world, he rested. This is not a casual passage that was put in here. This is very deliberate. God knows that human beings are not robots. We need time to stop, and we need time to rest.
One of the things you should make as your goal for the next week is try and take it a little bit easier and try and make some time to relax and get some decent rest. Rest is not a bad thing.
We talk a lot about eating well and exercising. But the latest science says that sleep could be twice as important to our wellbeing as eating well and exercising.
If you eat nothing but ice cream for a month, you won’t feel great at the end of it, but it’s not going to kill you. However, if you get no sleep for a couple of days, you can be at risk of a fatal car crash, and things start to go very wrong. We need to dramatically rethink the way that we address rest and sleep.
As I said before, human beings are not robots. We need to know that we have limits.
Today around the world many people are either close to burnout or burned out. This is a tragic consequence of a culture that doesn’t value rest and good sleep. The passage in the Bible that talks about God creating the world is in the book of Genesis. That’s at the very start of the Bible. And what this indicates is that right from the start, God has told us that we need to rest.
We often ignore it. We often say, “I don’t need to rest, I don’t need to stop.” But the reality is human beings do have limits.
Sometimes a lot of the stress can creep up on people and they don’t fully realise what they’re experiencing. For many people, that’s what’s happened in the last couple of weeks. Little by little their tiredness has increased, until it’s come to this week and then suddenly, they feel exhausted.
So, I really encourage you to sleep in and try and set aside some dedicated time throughout your day for a rest.
In the past, when people went to work they would have a break for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea. Tragically, today, many people work through all these breaks and so they are always on.
I encourage you, in the coming weeks, just to set aside some times to actually have a break, not to do work on your phone in the break, but to actually pause, have a cup of tea, spend time with your family and really take a break because we desperately need rest.
Rest is not a bad thing. When we are well rested, we are more creative, we snap at other people less, and we’re generally a lot happier.
I encourage you, in the coming week make good rest and good sleep a priority.
If you want to know more about sleep, go to my website, there’s a lot more information about how to get good sleep, and some of the things that stop people getting good sleep and how to address them.
23rd April 2020