[Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” -–Mark 6:31
Summer is winding down. Did you have a chance to escape your normal routine? A vacation should be just that—a break from your normal routine. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; it just needs to be something you enjoy. Getaways are important not only for physical health to rest the body but also for mental health to rest the mind.
I just got back from a week with some of my family. I enjoyed sunshine, sun tanning, and sightseeing. You don’t have to go far away to get rest and relaxation, but getting away from your every day environment helps the brain to slow down. It is hard to rest at home when there is a heap of laundry on the floor, a stack of dishes in the sink, and a pile of papers on the desk. Breaking your routine allows you to turn off that portion of your mind that is constantly thinking about what needs to happen next. On a vacation, you don’t have to have a schedule.
Maybe you can’t take the time for a week of vacation. Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Block out a Saturday, Sunday, or weekend to get outside and enjoy nature. There is something peaceful and calming about considering Creation. I love when my vacation takes me to a place where I can sit on a beach and view the ocean; however, I find the same calm come over me when I’m on my deck at home viewing a field of corn or the green grass and the trees that surround me.
Really all you need to do to rest your mind is get away from the usual to the unusual. A family cookout, an hour at the spa, or lunch with a friend can bring refreshment and renewal to help you rest your mind.
As students and parents return to fall schedules and all that comes with them, I encourage you to take advantage of the late summer and fall days. Get outside. Enjoy nature. Rest your mind. Refresh your soul. Be renewed in your purpose. Give your body and your mind the rest they crave. It is important for your mental health.