Christian Life, Mental Health

Girl Stop Apologizing & More

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Have you gotten your hands on a copy of Rachel Hollis’ latest book, Girl Stop Apologizing? Rachel lays out important actions she has taken to attain her level of success. In a world of people telling you to just follow yours dreams, Rachel explains that you can’t just dream, sit back and hope for the best. Achieving big dreams requires hard work, a plan, discipline, and sacrifice.

Rachel’s message is that we need to stop apologizing for who we are and how we are “wired.” We have to stop making excuses for why we aren’t succeeding and stop blaming others for our lack of progress. She shares what keeps her on track like her 10-10-1 rule, getting up an hour earlier than her family, finding a place to work that is not distracting, avoiding time-wasters like social media, eating healthy, exercising daily, creating measurable goals, enlisting help, being a hustler, and so forth.

I love Rachel’s personal examples and practical advice. If people put into practice just a few of her life-principles, they are sure to reap the benefits. This book is not about theology. It’s not about living a Christian life-style. It’s not even about being a mom. This book has a purpose and it hit the bullseye. Rachel talks about her personal health and fitness through eating, sleeping, and exercise, but she does not talk about taking days off. That was not the point of her book so I have no complaints for her leaving it out.

One of the stories Rachel shared was how she decided to forego resting at an airport, even though she was exhausted, so that she could work on her book edits. She mentioned that she was willing to sacrifice rest in order to meet her objectives. This story made me think about how many people out there sacrifice rest in order to be productive.

Many people have no idea that rest is an important part of increasing productivity. Medical research reveals that the brain needs days off in order to restore itself. Many studies even connect REM sleep to emotional memory processing (Walker & van der Helm, 2009). Professional athletes and trainers will tell you that you must take one day off a week for your muscles to rest and restore. The Bible even talks about how we should take a day off for sabbath rest (Exodus 20:8-11). Without rest at least one day per week, we end up being less productive on the other six days.

My encouragement is to read Rachel’s book and figure out how to apply it to your life. However, don’t become a “hustler” and neglect to take days to reset and restore in the process. Achieving your goals while being emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and relationally healthy is what will make you a real success story.

 

 

Reference

Walker, M. P., & van der Helm, E. (2009). Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological bulletin, 135(5), 731-48.

 

 

Christian Life, Mental Health

Choose Peace Over Progress

peaceoverprogressLast summer, I decided to expedite the process of finishing my master’s degree by taking three classes in eight weeks. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it ruined me! I used the excuse that I could recover during the last month of summer. During those eight weeks, I lived with chronic anxiety and fought back tears on a daily basis. I’m embarrassed to admit how crazy I was… I mean, I’m working on a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Shouldn’t I have it together?

Thinking back over the years, I have a habit of trying to accomplish things at an unhealthy pace, without the proper rest required to maintain sanity. I have also seen many clients who struggle with anxiety and the common theme in their lives is that they don’t know how to rest. When challenged to take a day off or even a couple hours, they can’t even think of what they enjoy doing for pleasure. Many of those people struggle with negative thoughts like, people will think I’m lazy or I need to be productive to be accepted. That couldn’t be any further from the truth.

The truth is, everyone is worthy of investing in themselves through pleasurable activities, being pampered, going on an adventure, taking a vacation, and simply resting. Research shows how detrimental constant multitasking is to our mental and emotional health. Resting and investing in yourself can improve memory, heart health, reduce stress, and keep you at a healthy weight…who doesn’t want that (Seballo, 2014)?

In her book, Breathing Room, Sandra Stanely penned the words, “choose peace over progress.” That’s a powerful statement for a driven person but it’s even more powerful when that person chooses to live by its principle. I know I’m not the only one who needs this reminder. What is it that you need to lay down or quit in order to live a life of peace? When was the last time you rested from work and invested in YOU?

 

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:1-4, NLT).

 

Reference

Seballo, A. (2014, February 12). Health Benefits of Rest. State of Health: Florida Hospital. Retrieved from https://www.floridahospital.com/blog/health-benefits-of-rest