The Glorious Power of a Ten-Minute Nap

Like many of you I work too much. This isn’t necessarily a problem by itself, but my mind seems to view relaxation (something like watching tv, or reading a book) as being lazy. So even while watching television at night I’m doing other things [1] and am not truly relaxing.

The problem of course is our bodies need to have true rest [2], ideally this would be done on a daily basis so our body doesn’t break down from exhaustion

Rest doesn’t necessarily need to be some extended thing though…in fact i’ve found a ten to fifteen minute nap can do wonders for a person [3].

In the past I would listen to my body when it sent warnings (your working too hard, you need to rest) and force myself to rest for ten minutes, but lately that has been a bit more difficult.

Last week I didn’t have the same amount of energy as normal (combination of half-marathon training, and new eating plan) so more rest naps were needed than usual. Unfortunately in my view these were a waste of time [4] so I chose to push through physically.

Wednesday morning after mentoring a kindergartener my body started giving off some serious warning signs about needing rest

  1. Slight headache
  2. Feeling of dizziness at times
  3. It was hard to focus
  4. In other words, I needed to rest

Did I take a quick nap to re-energize myself? Of course not! Instead I chose to push through and keep writing blog posts.

Finally at 11:30 it was almost impossible to continue so I gave myself a half-hour to rest.

This ended up being a 5 1/2 hour puke a thon where I vomited up things I didn’t even remember eating.

Now this forty-eight hour stomach bug didn’t just come because I wasn’t taking naps, but eating fewer calories while burning large quantities created a perfect storm for any kind of sickness.

Would I have been able to escape this illness with short naps? I’m not really sure. What I do know is my body didn’t have the energy to fight that stomach bug when it came.

There is an important lesson for life and ministry here.  We must understand the value of rest, and create short periods of rest in your daily life.  Because that short rest break isn’t being lazy, instead it’s what our body needs to continue working effectively.

So close your eyes for a few minutes
Read the book
Watch a favorite move or tv show
Or drink that extra cup of coffee

That “wasted” ten to fifteen minutes will be much better than feeling you want to die for five hours 🙂

  1. surfing the web, posting on social media, reading articles, making lists for the next day  ↩
  2. moments when the mind isn’t trying to focus on ten things at once  ↩
  3. you don’t even have to fall asleep during that time (though I do) it’s just about letting yourself rest for a few moments  ↩
  4. too much needs to be done I can waste fifteen minutes  ↩

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