With almost every patient I see in my office, I spend at least some time discussing the importance of rest, nutrition, and exercise. No matter what the health or mental health condition they are experiencing, those three factors of their treatment plan are the three that are more or less in their direct control, and the three factors that can have a significant impact on their overall emotional and physical well-being.
Yet, if I’m being honest with you, every time I explain the importance of those three factors to my patients, I am mentally challenged to take a mental appraisal of how well I’m doing following my own advice.
Every day I’m forced to go down the mental checklist and ask myself, “How’d you do with your nutrition yesterday? Did you get enough protein to fuel your brain?”
“Did you take the time to get any physical exercise? Did you get outdoors and get any fresh air?”
and lastly, “How’re you doing with respect to rest? Not just sleep, but with respect to rest?” That’s the one that always gets me!
Rest is vital to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and it’s crucial for spiritual warfare.
Can I be real vulnerable with you? Writing a book about the enemy of our soul and how he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy, especially with respect to the stronghold of depression, is not for wimps! And it’s been a rough year. I’m so glad I didn’t know what I know now in terms of the battle when I agreed to God’s call to write my soon to be released book, “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.”
The attacks on absolutely every aspect of my life from my health to my finances to my business to my family have been exhausting. And the constant temptation has been to do, do, and do more to fight it. But sometimes the best thing we can do is to rest and let God do the fighting for us.
God has made it very clear to me that we are about to head into a very busy season as we approach the launch of this book. Can I just tell you, I’m so over the top excited about the release of this book because I KNOW that if the enemy has been trying so hard to keep me quiet, then I know God is going to use it to set people free and provide help and HOPE to many who need it, and nothing thrills my heart more than being part of His work. But just has He has made it clear to me that this next season will be a very busy one, He has made it clear that there is a need to take the time now to rest and prepare.
He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).
So this week, there is no new inspirational blog post, as “The Doctor is Out,” taking the doctor’s own advice and resting the mind, body, and soul. I’m enjoying my family on a few quiet days of rest and relaxation, listening to Him, and appreciating His creation. We’ll be back to the regularly scheduled blog next week.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts about what rest means to you, and how you best achieve that. Maybe I could learn something from you! How do you check out when you need to rest and rejuvenate?
Because of Him,
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
Rest is vital for me, with my neck and spine arthritis. I can tell when my body is crying out for a nap or even just to sit down and pause. Sometimes, a ten minute period of rest truly rejuvenates me. I love walking outside, too. Reading is another way that I relax. 🙂 Prayer calms me, too, as I turn my thoughts over to God.
I love how the Lord has given you multiple things that help rest and rejuvenate you! He loves you!! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Rest is important, I agree. Resting is a challenge at times, yet I know the benefits for the whole of me. Resting in the Lord is key, I think, yet not always easy to do. My word for this year is “abide”–that seems to imply a resting in the Lord?
Congratulations on your book! Exciting!!
Yes, I’d have to agree that “abide” does imply a resting in the Lord! It is His desire for us to rest, both physically and in Him. I agree, sometimes a challenge, but I have to believe the benefit is there or He wouldn’t ask us to do it because He only asks of us what is good for us and for His glory! Keep abiding, my friend! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
It’s true that rest looks different to different people. For me, rest is a walk, while for my husband, rest is a nap. Both of us feel rejuvinated by our favorite rest activities. OF course, I get the greater benefit, because I also get vitamin D, which he does not! (Can you tell this is a long-standing argument?) Rest well, friend!
I’d agree that rest looks different to different people. When we are doing what God has called US to do, it will feed us in a way that it may not for other people. Like you, I enjoy that walk!! I can walk and talk to Him, all day long! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
This is such a great post! It’s always good for me to be reminded of the importance of nutrition, exercise and rest. I think I’m doing fairly well with my nutrition, but with my list of challenging health issues, getting enough exercise is a real challenge for me! I am trying to remind myself that this is how I get more oxygen into my body, and oxygen also fuels my brain!
My need for rest falls into two different categories. On an hour-by-hour basis throughout my day, I know I can’t push too much before I am pretty much forced to rest. For a long time now I have approached physical tasks with a work-rest-work-rest approach. If I don’t rest when I need to, I will get less done in the end than if I honor that need to rest. The work/rest ratio will depend on how much effort the work requires. Working at my desk typically doesn’t require a rest break (I just have to remember to stop and drink water or eat) where yard work, for example, may even mean a ratio of ten minutes rest after ten minutes of work.
But there is that other kind of rest, the kind you are taking now, that takes a break from the responsibilities in our lives in order to restore our souls. As you referred to Mark 6:31, I have often reminded myself that even Jesus needed to set aside time for this. It’s lovely to see you taking your own advice and getting some rest!
Since Barry died , my health has been under attack. Nfrom a stint in the hospital from dehydration,mot the Whooping Cough at age 69, to the Pinal surgery, to the Lymphoma scare, to the recent Pneumonia, now in 5th week……yes, ATTACKED! So your advice hits home. I am removing myself from commitments to these 4 things. 8 hr sleep per night, Rest during day for 30 min. Nutrition in higher protein, less carbs. Exercise 30 min a day. Walking, floor exercises. When possible I will also be Appreciating beauty all around me, writing those still moments in my journal with deeper study of scriptures also can be included. Each month I will choose one word or phrase. This month is STILL. (See my FB cover photo for an example).
Lots of hugs as you also take your own advice.
Thank you, Bonnie! Where would we be without Him? He is faithful. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
How my heart has gone out to you in your recovery. Now recovering from the same thing, I can appreciate what a struggle that pneumonia was! It’s causing enforced rest. I’m trying to look at it as a gift, not a punishment or a detour. Yes my friend, Be Still. He is there in the stillness. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Rest seems to be a life-long quest. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I would have to agree with you on that one!!
Congratulations on your book baby! For me, rest means not only self-care activities, but self-nurture activities. Getting haircuts and eating at a favorite restaurant with a friend of family member constitute self-care (those things that make me happy and bring me joy). Walking in silence, birding, spending time writing in my journal and praying are all self-nurture activities (those in which I can process my thoughts and feelings).
Thank you so much, Anita! I know God is going to use the book to set people free. I’m thankful for the opportunity to take time to rest and prepare for the coming season. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Oh yes, Anita, I think self-care activities feed part of us in a very restful way. They rejuvinate and refill the well so we can continue to pour out for others! Good for you! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
When you are fighting the enemy and his attacks, you know you are on to something glorious! Congratulations on your upcoming book, it sounds very relevant and timely, much needed. We are praying for you, that you will rest in the peace and assurance Jesus gives!
Visiting from Holley Gerth’s blog today!
Thankful for you and your prayers! I appreciate you stopping by today. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I appreciate those prayers. The enemy’s attacks have been fierce. But my God is bigger! And I know, Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I struggle with rest and pain. I know it is important to rest and I try, but my pain overwhelms making sleep difficult. I then take pain pills which seem to increase the fatigue factor. I am in a vicious cycle: can’t sleep, take pain meds, tired from pains and then can’t sleep again because of pain from arthritis made worse by fatigue. I am not sure of way out. Believe me I have gone the no pain pill route too; not improvement. Exercise is not feasible with arthritis at the moment because of my pain. Thanks for listening. I can’t wait to read your book.
I’m not a believer that one size solution fits all. I’d take it to Him in prayer and ask Him what He wants you to do. His word says that He will liberally give wisdom to all who ask for it. It’s open for the asking! Looking forward to you reading the book! Stay tuned here or on Facebook for announcements of its release this summer! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I agree that getting enough sleep and rest is key to our health. Not only do I feel better when I get enough R&R but I look better, lol. And I also agree that it is one of the hardest things to accomplish! Congratulations on your book as well.
Thank you, Renee! We all need reminders to take care of ourselves and get proper rest, nutrition and exercise. Taking the time to truly rest is hard but worth it. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
You can see it in a person when they are not rested. So it does impact our physical appearance. But if we’ll make that more of a priority, it will pay off! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Rest has been on my mind lately because I’m working my way through Hebrews where I find that rest is a place — but not my native country, for sure. And it is a person: Jesus Christ, and through Him, I find a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. Because God is always at rest and always at work, I learn that I, too, can find rest within my “work” as long as it is God-ordained work.
That’s a lot of info for me to absorb, and I’m trusting for grace to live my way into it.
I loved hearing your thoughts from a medical perspective.
Thank you for stopping by, Michele! Where would we be without Him? He is faithful. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I appreciate what you share here! And I agree with those three items that are often overlooked in our mental health. Thank you for sharing with us each week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth. I hope your book release is successful too!
Thank you so much for stopping by! God is good. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Michelle, I’m so glad that you’re getting a chance to rest. Every now and again I sense the need to get away and I do well to listen. It can be a very simple thing like clearing my schedule for an afternoon just to get some one on one time with God. However it looks, things are always better after that time of respite.
By the way, I can’t wait to hear more about your book. Please keep me posted!
Marva | sunSPARKLEshine
I’d love to share with you more about “Hope Prevails!” It’s hard for me to NOT share! God longs to set people free, and I believe with all my heart He wants to use this book as a conduit to His help and His hope!
You are a wise woman to pay attention to that sense that you need to get away. Those respite periods can provide such clarity!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
I am certain I do not get enough rest, or exercise or drink enough water. Life can be all consuming at times.
Oh yes, Barbie, I would have to agree. Life can be all consuming at times. But God has always set a high priority on our taking care of the temple. If we can’t make that a priority, it minimizes the good we can do in other areas. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
There’s such an inseparable connection between body, soul and spirit, and I do notice how not taking good care of myself physically makes a huge impact on how I feel emotionally and spiritually. May God give you sweet rest and may He bless your book and use it to set people free!
You’re not alone. Especially as women, when life gets busy and demands creep up, we often sacrifice in the areas that we need the most. Thank you for your words of blessing. I pray He uses it for others’ good and His glory! Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Such an important, informative post!