“Oh boy… I am tired already and the year just started, “ commented a friend of mine. I read her words and thought, “Me too, I’m exhausted.”

The holidays! It can be a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong the effort is well worth it, and a lot of fun. I got to spend time with my three college-aged children. We hit the ski slopes a number of days. Watched late-night movies other days. We hung out with friends, too. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

However, now I feel in need of rest.

Looking ahead though, January is a month of travel. In the next few weeks, with my commitments, I will take eleven flights and cover multiple time zones. Exhausting, eh?

Taking time out, though, is important because it brings recovery. It allows a return to a normal state of health, mind and strength.

We need to be intentional about building in time to unwind—physically, spiritually and emotionally We are designed to take a breather.

I know this seems strange to write when, with a New Year, many of us are rearing to go and make a fresh start. However, we need to be intentional about building in time to unwind—physically, spiritually and emotionally

We are designed to take a breather.

Necessary recharging is as old as creation itself.

The creator built it into the work of creating. Yet, we have to remember something else from those days of the Garden.

Toil took the place of prescribed rest. So, how much more do we need to be deliberate about relaxing. Especially as God stipulated it, and Jesus modeled it.

Turning what we know in our heads to be good for us into activities in our daily lives is hard, though.

So, I want to give you some of my tried and tested way to be purposeful about building time into your schedule for regaining your well-being.

1. Look at your calendar. Find thirty minutes, five times a week.

The American Heart Association says 150 minutes of physical exercise a week is necessary for overall cardiovascular health. Let’s use these guidelines to maintain our spiritual heart health, too.

If this seems impossible, do what is possible to work towards this goal.

Take the time even if it looks like you’re neglecting your duties. Jesus took time out even though he was needed.

2. Block out the time as your weekly recovery periods. Choose to do a few of the following activities:

• Take a 30 minute physical and spiritual workout to walk and pray.

My husband tells me I come back a different person after my morning walk and talk with God. You’ll discover thirty minutes of prayer and exercise is like a mini retreat for your mind, body and soul.

Download the Prayer Zone Workout app. Use it to guide you and lead you in prayer.

For some of you, the weather does not cooperate this time of year. It’s hard to take a walk when the temperature is sub-zero and walkways are like skating rinks.

• Give God the first 30 minutes of your day.

Lysa Terkeurst says: “Giving the Lord our first thoughts – our genesis thoughts – each day can really help us process life in healthier ways.”

Use the Proverbs 31 First 5 app. Or plan to read through the Bible in a year. Alternatively, pick out a devotional to use such as my friend Lucinda’s book, Dwelling Places.

• Join a community and commit 30 minutes to friendship and fitness.

Check out my friend, Marie’s faith, fitness and fellowship community to equip and support you for a sustainable life long health journey.

I’m escaping the North East frigid temperatures to warmer weather next week. and I can’t wait for the opportunity to get back to walking and talking with my heavenly Father. How will you be intentional about finding time to recover this year?

Heavenly Father, in the year ahead help me make time for rest—for my soul, my body and my mind. Just as you intentionally built Sabbath into creation, I want to create space in my schedule for physical exercise, laughter with friends and family, and one-on-one time with you. My plan is _________________________. Amen (Write down your specific goals in each three areas.)

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Linking up with Suzie Eller at #liveFree, Arabah Joy at #GraceandTruth and Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus

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  • I’m reading this again, because I’m always looking for a reset in September! Such good ideas here, Rachel. thank you. Saw this on Pinterest and so glad I did!

  • Your Prayer Zone Workout book sounds intriguing. I’ll have to check that out! There are so many great and practical suggestions in this post. I’m really trying to be more intentional about both my prayer time and my exercise time this year, so reading this was perfect timing. Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth each week. I would love to feature this post on Friday. I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather during your travels!

    • Thanks Dawn for featuring this post and I hope the Prayer Zone Workout gives structure to your prayer and exercise time. Some days I get so engrossed in prayer – in the zone – and before I know it I’ve walked a couple of miles as well. It feels so good to exercise both my body and soul. I hope you discover the same.

  • I’m so glad you got to have fun skiing. Rest is so important too and I agree give Him first place.

  • Rachel, I’m with you on this one! Not too far into the new year and I need a breather too. Might get one if an ice storm hits us this weekend. Visiting from #livefreethursday

    • Isn’t it interesting how “bad” weather causes us to slow down. It’s nice. When we’ve had snowstorms in the NE, we always have such a good time because we see our neighbors out shoveling snow and we get to talk to them! Usually, everyone’s so busy and in a rush, we don’t get to see each other.

  • These are great suggestions for recharging! I am trying to be more intentional this year with exercise and spending time with the Lord. Thank you for sharing.
    Your neighbor at #liveFree

    • I wrote a book about my practice of exercise and prayer. It’s to help get intentional. You might want to check it out on Amazon. It’s called Prayer Zone Workout. It’s a short read – mainly because I feel it’s important to get practicing our prayer and exercise as quickly as possible.

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