Stress, Rest & Relaxation

 Stress, Rest & Relaxation

We have all had those days where your job or maybe those individuals you work with might be causing you stress.  Maybe something you are dealing with in your personal life has caused you an immense amount of stress. In either case it might be an acute short-term thing or it may be more chronic and simply be part of your life, in any case, you need to deal with the situation and the stress it is causing you.

Epictetus, a Greek philosopher (A.D. 55-135) once said, “People are disturbed not by a thing, but by their perception of a thing.”  A person’s perception or view of what they believe they are dealing with can cause them a huge amount of stress in their life.  The American Institute of Stress states that one definition of stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”

One of the first things to managing stress is to understand what is causing you stress.  How did you feel, physically and emotionally?  How did you act in response to this situation?  What did you do to make yourself feel better?

The American Institute of Stress and the American Psychological Association lists the top 7 causes of stress as

  1. Job Pressure
  2. Money
  3. Health
  4. Relationships
  5. Poor Nutrition
  6. Media Overload
  7. Sleep Deprivation

Daily stress from whatever our lives interact with can build up in many different ways and each of us should learn to handle it in our own unique way.  Everyone should have at least one healthy method, if not more, to bring us to a relaxed state of being and be able to rest.

Rest and Relaxation, also known as R&R, is needed by everyone.  We all have heard this simple phrase used before and what it means to each of us individually, is different.  Your first thought may be to simply get a good eight hours of sleep or maybe sleep in past your normal get-out-of-bed time. You may want put on a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite music.  You may think of viewing sunrises and sunsets or walking on a beach with your special someone as a form of relaxation. You may think of traveling and seeing parts of the world or engaging in an adventure that challenges you to new heights and pushes you to new limits as the ultimate relaxation or rest.  You may think of pampering yourself in an exotic spa undergoing different massages and relaxing treatments.  You may find making love as an excellent form of relaxation.  You may think of unencumbered time to simply indulge in a book or magazine you have wanted to read for quite some time.  Maybe going out to a movie, show or an event that allows you to engross yourself for a short time in something else and taking a break from your day-to-day challenges, is what rest and relaxation means to you.  Maybe prayer or meditating and cleansing your internal spiritual self and thereby entering a relaxed state are a great form of relaxation or rest for you. You may even consider simply spending conversational time over a meal with loved ones, family or friends as an excellent type of R&R.  Each of us relaxes in different ways and may need several types of unique rest from time to time.

One meaning for the word rest is “refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor”, taken from  and for me that is exactly what I am looking for with the first “R” in the phrase R&R.  But the phrase “R&R” has two “R’s” not one.  The second “R”, relaxation has a different meaning, “an activity or recreation that provides such relief; diversion; entertainment”.  As you can see, the first “R” is all about doing nothing or inactivity, the second “R” is all about doing something or engaging in an activity.  Rest and relaxation is all about not do and do.  Both are two sides of the same “R&R” coin.

Recently I enjoyed so much of the second “R” (days of being on the beach watching sunrises & sunsets), that I needed the first “R” to rest up.  To me that is the best use of “R&R”, relax by doing, then rest up by not doing.

In any event, learning to get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy, exercise regularly, laugh often, listening to music and simply talking with a good friend are very important to managing stress, relaxing and ultimately allowing you to rest.  That is a good place to start in handling any stress that may enter your life.

LifeLongU™ offers up a “Leisure” map to help an individual focus on different types of activities that help provide pathways to counter or reduce everyday stress.

Leisure Map    

©2014 Life Long Network – LifeLongU™ – Life Long Fulfillment Program: Leisure

Keeping focused in different areas of one’s life helps change from one state of being to another state of being, which helps a person think more clearly when faced with challenges.  We all have challenges in our life, some of us are just better equipped with managing them than others.  Make sure you have the tools to manage your stress and a leisure plan to rest and relax.  Life is short enough as it is and we need to learn to take time to rest and relax to fully enjoy all the remaining days of your life.

Gary J. Kiecker

Gary J Kiecker



Is Your Work Time “Leisure” or “Toil”


Is Your Work Time “Leisure” or “Toil”?

Leisure time…what does that even mean for us in today’s time?  For me, I picture myself, with my “special” someone, relaxing someplace warm with a great view, great service, nice tropical breezes blowing, waves are crashing on the shore and I do not have a care in the world. Does that sound like leisure to you?  Some of you may picture a similar image with a few modifications made to my picture, but non-the-less, I do believe we all get that idea of leisure. defines it as “time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc; unhurried ease”.  So that would mean all the time we are not working or fulfilling a dutiful obligation, we are using leisure time, correct?  But surely work or fulfilling obligations can also be leisure?  I know that I enjoy my work, at least most parts of it.  One of the definitions for work on is “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil”.   I do believe that last word “toil” meaning “hard and continuous; exhausting labor or effort”, as defined by, is not something most of us want to do all day and for most of us, may not be referred to as leisure. Managing our time (since we only have so much of it) is one of the most important activities a person can do and should do each day.  What we do during our time, whether its work, leisure, labor, toil or rest, we are responsible for what we do with our time.  In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, the Bible says, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat”.  Also the Bible states in Genesis 2:2 “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work”.  So clearly, we are to work and rest. If God takes time to rest, I do believe we should follow suit. After all you know what they say about all work and no play?  But it would appear that God worked six days, even Saturday, and then took one day off to rest…so if you enjoy what you do, as I believe God did when He worked, you still need to take time to rest. Example_of_Hours_per_week In this basic overview of the week above it would appear that we have approximately 32 hours to spend on our leisure time activities, whatever they are.  Obviously, it may vary quite a lot per individual, their obligations and by what they think of as leisure or work time.  I simply want to show that almost all our time is either work or leisure time and that it is important not to waste any of it, but use all the time we have on activities that refresh us. The simple fact is if you enjoy your work or think of it as leisure (at least parts of it, like I do), you may have much more refreshing leisure time than you think, so enjoy it all.  In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 8:15, King Solomon wrote, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.  Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun”. Spend your time at work doing something you enjoy and it may become a leisure activity that refreshes you and brings you much enjoyment and you may feel you actually do not work at all.   Gary J Kiecker