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Vacation Day Every Day

Vacation Day Every Day

What Happens When People Practice Rest for their Overall Health? 

By Mitchel Powers 

The average person is caught up in the hurry and hustle; checking off their to do list and losing sight of the importance of wholesome rest in their own lives. But what do we do when we hit burnout and tumble into deep anxiety?  

We vacation. Taking a vacation is typically the reaction to over-working, but what if it was a daily, weekly, and monthly practiced self-care initiative?  

In 2014, the American Time Use Survey found that 27% of the American population had worked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. [1] That compared to 19% in the UK and 13% in Germany. Although most workers in the U.S. are still fashioned around the 9-5 work schedule, there is a rise in work interrupting the personal time of Americans.  

The roots of this hurry and hustle are deeply imbedded into the American culture and is likely tied to the pursue of wealth, basic survival needs, job security, and certainly several other factors. However, the danger in this spike is dramatic. A 2016 study by the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization commented that working over 55 hours a week was a serious health hazard. Working long and irregular work week hours led to 745,000 deaths worldwide in 2016. [2] 

The problem is that people are combating the busyness and the hurry and the urge to keep going without rest. Thus, Sabbath-keeping, a spiritual practice of rest and worship in Yahweh, as presented in the ancient literature of the Bible, might provide a means of a counter to the currents of society. 

Sabbath keeping often looks different per person. In this case, students practice Sabbath in the wilderness. Photo by ASWWU Outdoors.

Sabbath-keeping is a practice that is daily and is predominately practiced weekly as a day of rest and worship. Sabbath-keeping can be practiced also in a monthly form. Sabbath itself is the practice of stopping and ceasing from that in which you are obligated to do and can best be practiced daily, weekly, and monthly. [3] 

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So, what if students, office workers, nurses, truckers, lawyers, and all other hustling members of society stopped and ceased a couple times a day to rest and focus on something bigger than themselves? The science suggests that there are higher rates of happiness and lowered levels of stress in those who practice this Sabbath keeping idea daily or even just weekly. [4–5] 

Sabbath-keeping is beneficial to whole person health whether it is practiced in a traditional religious setting or in a contemporary work-related setting, taking time to rest could just be an answer to your anxiety, stress, and burnout. 


  1. Bui, Quoctrung. (August 27, 2014). Who’s in the office? The American workday in one graph. NPR. 
  1. Working less is a matter of life and death. (May 29, 2021). The New York Times.  
  1. Gailey, Robert. (2015). Sabbath as resistance: Saying no to the culture of now by Walter Brueggemann. Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, 18(1).  
  1. Morton, Kelly R, Jerry W Lee, and Leslie R Martin. (2017). Pathways from religion to health: Mediation by psychosocial and lifestyle mechanisms. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 9(1), 106-117. 
  1. Speedling, Barbara Baker. (2019). Celebrating Sabbath as a holistic health practice: The transformative power of a sanctuary in time. Journal of Religion and Health 58(4), 1382. 
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