January 12, 2024

Micro-dosing Rest to Avoid Burnout

How do we create regular rhythms between work and rest?

If you’ve ever dabbled in the physical fitness world, you may be familiar with a method of cardio exercise called interval training. The idea is to go as hard as you can for a preset period of time, followed by a preset period of rest, over and over again. It is supposed to improve your cardiovascular endurance levels. Usually the time periods are something like 30 seconds of exertion and 30 seconds of rest. We could all probably handle these intervals for a time, but what if the periods of exertion gradually became longer and longer and the rest periods the same or shorter? We would wear down pretty quickly.

Likewise, when we attempt to push through long periods of life before taking time to rest, we may feel like the sprinter who went for 2 minutes straight and 5 seconds off ten times over—we’ve given it our all, but we have nothing left to give because we haven’t had sufficient time to recover. 

There is beauty and strength in creating regular, timely rhythms of rest, that are in keeping with the way God designed not only our bodies, but the way he compartmentalized time. Days and nights are regularly divided by the sun and moon, creating the ebbs and flows of our weeks, months, and years. We can look to these rhythms of creation, noticing that God created for 6 days and rested on the 7th, instead of creating for 364 days and resting on the 365th, as cues to compartmentalize our own rest patterns. The concept of the Sabbath in the Bible is a God-fashioned rest interval between six other days designated for creation and work, designed to be a sacred way to honor our human design.

To allow ourselves room to breathe, we can micro-dose rest. In other words, create regular, intentional intervals for rest in between the times dedicated to the hustle of life. Our progress is not hindered due to the time we take off to rest, but rather, procrastinating or avoiding rest may lead to the gradual fizzle of our ability to stay the course.

Thrive Center


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Want to become more present, healthy, and connected? Pay attention to your body (Part 2)

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