Proper Rest and Doing 'All-nighters'
Have you ever done an ‘all-nighter’? That's when you work all night, right before a deadline, ensuring an essay or dissertation is complete.
My latest ‘all-nighter’ occurred during my postgraduate studies. I was staying up all night for a half-completed essay. After 12 hours of battle I finally finished, but the aftermath was a nightmare. For the next two days, I felt really exhausted no matter how many hours I slept. I could not function well. Worst of all, the quality of the essay was not even good! Since then, I try my very best to avoid doing that.
I recently met some Masters students who are working on their dissertations. They told me they start their days early and end late at night, and do this seven days a week! However, they also said that they weren’t writing efficiently. In my opinion, the problem may be a lack of proper rest.
Rest is often associated with sleep. We tend to believe that the more sleep we have, the more refreshed we will become. However, for those reading, writing, and working on computers every day, resting our minds is as important as physical rest. So how do we rest our brains? Here are some ideas:
1. Exercise: Go for a walk. The aim is to move your body so that your brain can switch off for a moment. If possible, it is best to go and be amongst nature to enjoy the natural world and its beauty. After that, you will be surprised by how wonderful you feel when you get back to work!
2. Quality time with close friends: Writing can be a lonely process. One of the best ways to relax is to enjoy some quality time with close friends. Last weekend, Nico and I were invited to a canal boat trip with our friends. After several long weeks of research work, we really enjoyed having food, canoeing and most importantly, exchanging lives and deep thoughts with our friends. After that, we certainly felt recharged because we felt loved in these friendships. Love is the best cure for fatigue.
3. Serve the community: How can we feel rested by serving the community? In the Bible, it says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Sometimes when we are too focused on our own worries we feel drained. But if we turn our eyes to the poor, to the elderly, to the needy, and offer some help, we are filled with joy because we are able to give. This way, we not only give hope, but we also become more hopeful!
Finally, I believe God our Creator designed our bodies to work AND to rest. He himself created the world in six days and on the seventh day, He rested.
Let’s have some proper rest!