Wellness and Christianity
It is no secret that America is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world. Statistics say that 34% of Americans are overweight (about 190 million people). Aside from this, there are 33 million people in America who have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Could it be that we are materialistic and yet still cannot have enough? Could it be that we have the best of technology but we are still wanting more?Could it be that we have more pleasure in America but we are as unhappy as ever?
One of my favorite principles in the bible is rest. Some people equate busyness with production. When, in actuality, that is simply untrue. A quick reference to Exodus 31:12-17 and the Sabbath Principle and 2 Timothy 2:1-7 and the Stewardship Principle, will support the priority of rest and the value of sowing and reaping.
After watching a TED.com video on 'Play Deprivation', or PD, I have come to find that there are many important factors in creating a balanced life. Some of those would include Time and Task Management, Study and Reading, and Recreation, Nutrition, and Sleep.
As spiritual leaders, we have some important tasks to consider – personal rest and recreation, sermon prep/study, counseling/appointments, leadership development and delegation, personal and professional development, mentoring, administration, community involvement, etc. These duties of a pastor (or anyone for that matter) can be devastating to personal health and wellness. One of the safeguards for a healthy life is recreation. But, it is apparent that there is a play deprivation in our culture. A lack of emphasis upon leisure. And this has caused in increase in anger, lack of creativity, loss of confidence and exploration, and social awkwardness.
Thinking about these questions should stir your interest in play activities and result in greater mental and physical health.
Ask yourself these “Play History” questions:
When is the last time you played with an object? (ball, squeeze toy, or object)
How do you relieve tension or stress from your life?
What is the last event that caused you to laugh or get involved with other people?
Give an answer to the following questions by stating ‘DAILY’, ‘WEEKLY’, or ‘MONTHLY’:
How often do you run?
How often do you jump?
How often do you laugh?
How often do you make up a game?
How often do you play a game?
The fruit of wellness is less stress, loss of complexity, spiritual leadership, more focus, self-respect, physical stamina, confidence, discipline in life, and mental toughness. I think most of us would love to have more of these in our life. How do we gain this? Try the following:
Nutrition and Sleep:
First, exercise and remove the energy in your body for at least 60 minutes 4 days a week
Second, try music or scripture reading
Third, change your diet away from caffeine (Much of your unrest could be nutritional)
And finally, organize your life and thoughts by creating a ‘to-do’ list for what may be coming up in your schedule the next few days.