“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” – Genesis 2: 2-3
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” -Mark 6: 30-32 We can find several examples in scripture where God has sanctioned recreation; there is no need to feel guilty for times focused on enjoyment—this is part of God’s plan. (Yay!) And besides being part of a divine plan, recreation/vacation/ relaxation is good for your health! It has been reported that chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body’s ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even ability to avoid injury. When you’re stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you’re more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won’t digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you’ll make poorer decisions. You’ll also be less fun to be with, causing you to become more isolated, lonely, and depressed. So, each of us needs a constructive, positive way to deal with stress, whether it be exercise, a hobby, or just some “R & R.” In addition to having some routine way to deal with stress, vacations have the potential to break into the stress cycle. We emerge from a “successful” vacation (not the National Lampoon style vacation) feeling ready to take on the world again. We gain perspective on our problems, get to relax with our families and friends, and get a break from our usual routines. Even if you don’t have the time or resources to go on a trip, a “staycation” where you don’t venture further than your state, town or city, or even neighborhood, can also be relaxing and rejuvenating if it helps you to “take a break” from your normal routine and get a new perspective. So, as we enjoy the summer days of more sunshine and breaks from school and routines, make sure to plan opportunities for fun, relaxation and recreation. You will be glad you did.
Enjoying fun in the sun,