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The health and fitness industry is slowly becoming more and more predicated on instant gratifications. Every corner we turn, it's a rapid transformation story, a get-fit-quick fad diet, or someone try...
Consider the last time you were faced with a significant change in your life: What did it feel like to be presented with that opportunity or challenge? How did you handle it in the first few days, weeks, even months?...
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. —1 John 4:12...
Wellness is more than just eating right and exercising; it’s also much more than just feeling “okay.” Feeling well means feeling whole, balanced, vibrant, and alive. And there are many moving pieces that we can tap into to feel empowered in our own wellness journey. The key focus areas that I always recommend my patients pay attention to are community, emotional health, relationships, nutrition, movement, purpose, and mindset. Within these areas, we can have a dramatic influence on our immediate and future health....
My day job used to be my dream job. I was a reporter for an acclaimed national newspaper in Washington, D.C., making a difference in people’s lives and touching readers all over the world. My day started at 4:30 a.m. and often ended 14 hours later. For most of that time, I didn’t budge from my seat. As news stories broke, I was in charge of getting first iterations up online as other reporters and sources called me with leads. To move was to miss something: a shooting, a bombing, an earthquake, an overturned truck spilling pineapples onto the Beltway, a baby-panda birth. I had to stay put....
“Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” —Genesis 41:38 We can’t judge our potential by our circumstances. God may be shaping us to do something powerful in his service. For example, Joseph spent much of his young adulthood as a slave in Egypt after his jealous brothers sold him to some slave traders. If he had judged his potential by those circumstances, he would have been discouraged indeed....

Getting a healthy dose of rest every day is vital to health and happiness. That's a big claim, because this is a big deal. And did you know that there are different types of rest? Most people get just one type of rest, or maybe two. But there is a third, absolutely necessary type of rest that we often discount. If you're feeling fatigued, worn out, or even exhausted despite getting enough sleep, it's likely you're missing out on this third type of rest.

Rest is more than just sleep! 

We all know about sleep. But there are two other types of wakeful rest that every person needs on a regular basis to feel well. These are active rest and passive rest, and because many people consider engaging in these types of rest to be self-indulgent, most of us aren't getting enough of them or any at all!

But taking care of yourself when it comes to rest doesn't mean you are selfish or lazy. It means that you understand your own rest needs—how much of each type of rest you need and how often—and have decided that meeting those needs is up there with diet, fitness, and other self-care practices as a top priority in your life.

Here are the three types of rest that we should all be making a priority in our lives:

 1. Sleep: providing what your body needs, with love

How much sleep do you actually need? And I'm not talking about how much you currently allow yourself, how much the doctor says you should get, or not how much you get on vacation when you're catching up from being sleep-deprived the rest of the year. The question is: How much sleep would you get if sleeping the right amount were your highest priority?

Right now, because my brain is still recovering from an injury and I live with chronic pain (which is very draining for the body), I need about 11 hours of sleep per night. Is that convenient? No, but it's even less convenient to be sick all the time or be so exhausted that I can't function. Lack of sleep can lead to the development of serious, long-term health problems and a low, unpredictable mood. So, make sleep a priority. If you struggle with insomnia, take a look at your sleep hygiene and start taking responsibility for sleeping better. If you've already tried that and it hasn't worked, keep upping the ante until you find something that does. So sleep. Do it with love—because you are worthy of getting enough sleep.

2. Passive rest: relaxation
The word relaxation comes with a whole lot of baggage, from "that's just being lazy" to "oh, I could never afford to spend time doing that." So, let's start to look at relaxation as a rest requirement in order to bypass whatever story your inner saboteur is telling you.

Passive rest is what you need when you've had a long, hard day at work. Passive rest is when you're quietly resting but still awake. It's different for everyone; it could be a few minutes of looking out the window or an hour of lying on your bed and staring at the ceiling. It could even be reading a great book, taking a bath, knitting, or snuggling with a loved one.

It's very easy to ignore this type of rest. Because when we're stressed, exhausted, or feeling down, our brains become committed to feeling better right away. It's urgent, so things that promise reward—like eating an entire cake or watching hours of TV—are the things that seem like they will help us feel better immediately. Unfortunately, they rarely do the job of nurturing our bodies and minds for the long run.

The need for passive rest is the need to unwind, process stress, give your mind a break, and allow your body to get into parasympathetic mode. This is when digestion happens, healing happens, and feelings of well-being increase. To actually meet this need, we must do things that help us feel comfortable and safe, enjoyable things that are easy, familiar, quiet, and nourishing. If you're not sure what your most satisfying passive rest would look like, ask yourself what would cause you to feel peaceful, at ease, and to let out a big sigh of contentment.

You can experiment with this all you want; don't feel that you're wasting time—the opposite it true! People who engage in relaxation are healthier, happier, and more productive. It's easy to try to rationalize skimping on passive rest. So, remember that it is a gift to yourself, and you are worth it.

3. Active rest: rejuvenation and fun

It's easy to overlook the need for fun when we are tired; the truth is that if we only engage in passive rest, we will start to feel drained and worn out. We all need to have fun to feel our best! And only you know what's fun to you.

Imagine that part of you—the part that experiences fun—is the happy little child version of you, pure and perfect and worthy in every way. Your job as the adult is to provide them with the fun, stimulating, enjoyable, and life-giving activities. So, whether that's swimming, taking a pottery class or going skydiving, you want to connect that little part of you with feelings of pure joy.

Active rest is rest because it's rejuvenating. And because without it, life will feel exhausting, even if you're doing everything else right. Sometimes rest is not enough. If you are getting each type of rest and you are still fatigued, it's possible that you have a chronic illness, vitamin deficiency, or food sensitivity. But before you go to the doctor, please honestly answer this question: Are you pushing yourself to do too much?

Sometimes we forget that life itself can take a lot out of us. If you are someone who says "All I do is work, exercise, take care of my home, have a partner, socialize, and cook. I shouldn't be tired!" pause and think about how long that list really is and give yourself a break. If you allowed yourself to truly listen to your body, would it be begging you to slow down and do less? Then you're pushing too much. You're pushing past your healthy limits. And that is why you're tired.

We all deserve to feel rested, refreshed, and ready for life. By listening to our body's needs for the three types of rest, we can create a much more energized, enjoyable life!

Kathryn Hogan - I am a Wellness Coach and Author. I share powerful tools and practices to help you live that big, satisfying life your heart knows you’re meant to be living. My book, Your Big Life: Ground Rules to Get Unstuck and Stop Sabotaging Yourself.

It’s absolutely essential for your health to bring some form of relaxation response into your daily life. Volumes have been written about relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness, but here are some of my favorite ways to replenish and repair. ...

“I have had enough, Lord,” [Elijah] said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” —1 Kings 19:4

The prophet Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of all time. But at one point in his long labor of resisting Israel’s evil queen, he got burned out. He told the Lord, “I quit.”

The lord knew what he needed. First, Elijah needed rest. The Lord gave him time to sleep, and then an angel woke him to offer some food, for he needed to eat, and water, for he needed to drink. Often the solution to burnout is as simple as that: rest, nourishment, and hydration.

Elijah needed more. He needed some alone time with God. He traveled forty days and nights to get there. He had to get far away from the place where he labored to a place where he could be still and at peace. And God met him there, in that alone place. They had a bluntly honest talk. God renewed Elijah’s soul. Then he honored God and went back to work filled up.

What do you need? Rest? Food? Water? Time with God? He is ready to meet you in whatever place you find yourself today.

The Daniel Plan 365 Day Devotional is a companion to the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Daniel Plan.  This 365-day devotional provides the heartfelt insight you need to take your health to the next level.  Feast on something bigger than a fad.  Motivational tips, Scripture passages, Food for Thought, and a special note from Rick Warren lead the way to transformation for the long haul. 

Forget cutting calories and skipping meals. Try these tips to boost your energy levels. Do you start the day feeling fatigued? Or hit an afternoon energy slump that makes you want to take a nap under your desk? If so, your lack of get-up-and-go may have something to do with the way you are fueling (or failing to fuel) your body. If you’re cutting calories and skipping meals in an effort to control your weight – or depending on processed and fast foods, convenience-store snacks, caffeine, or candy to get you through your overly busy days – there’s a good chance you’re simply not giving your body the essential nutritional building blocks it needs to operate at peak capacity....


 
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