Allow for time to rest, reflect


File photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Setting aside a single day of the week to rest helped columnist Curtis Powers manage his time more effectively and reduced his stress. Whether it is watching football, reading or simply lounging around it can give you a much-needed recharge for the upcoming week.

Curtis Powers

I don’t know about you, but this week sure seems like it would be a good week for a fall break. I kind of wish that our Thanksgiving fell around the same time as Canada’s, which was Oct. 11 this year.

That way we could spread our breaks out a little more. You could even combine Thanksgiving with Halloween. Lots of food plus lots of sweets equals a great time. Or something like that.

Who knows. It doesn’t matter anyway since this scenario will never happen.

But it did get me thinking about a few opinion columns that have been written in recent weeks. They mainly talked about the idea that you should take a break.

One advocated for you to skip classes and enjoy life. The other talked about taking a day every now and then to just do whatever you want. Take a break from the busyness of life.

These point to an idea that has been around for thousands of years. A Sabbath rest. Whether you’re religious or not, the concept of a Sabbath rest is one worth considering.

Basically, it’s the idea that you work for six days and you rest on the seventh. There are also applications in other areas like an extended rest as well as farming. There was a command in the Torah to farm the land for six years and let it rest during the seventh.

My experience has proven that this is a good idea.

For the first few years of college, I did what most of you probably do or have done. I might show up to classes during the week. Do some homework here and there. And life just kind of blurred together from the week into the weekend.

Sure, I might’ve just watched football on Saturday for 12 hours in a row, and then watched another five or six hours on Sunday. With that and my great ability to procrastinate would often leave me quite stressed when I had projects.

I’d be pulling all-nighters to just try and turn something in. In short, I wasn’t really good at managing my time.

And I even took Psych 131 which teaches you study skills. It didn’t really help me out too much. Then I got convinced that I really needed to take a weekly day of rest.

I picked Sunday because I have classes and work throughout the week. Plus it seemed better than Saturday because starting weeks working late into the night didn’t seem like a good idea. I also follow Jesus and historically, followers of Jesus have tended to Sabbath on Sundays so it made sense.

The result is that it has forced me to get my work done in a timely manner because I knew I won’t be able to do it on Sunday. It’s also allowed me time to just relax, clean up around my apartment, read books other than class materials, and recharge for the upcoming week.

Furthermore, it’s allowed me time to reflect on what I’m doing with my life. I had some life-changing experiences as an undergrad that has helped direct my future. Thankfully, they were at times when I had a lot of free time to reflect upon them — the summer.

But often, if I don’t have time to think about what I’m doing and why, during busier times I just drift down the path of least resistance.

Aimlessly wondering is pretty easy to do. As Yogi Berra once said, “You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

So I think it’s important that you consider doing something like this in your own life. It’s certainly not easy, but I think you’ll find that it’s worth it. Plus, that way, you won’t have to skip classes in order to rest.