One of my friends and sister-in-Christ, Joyce L., gave me this lovely gift. She put the pieces of jigsaw puzzles together and frame it up. She told me to remember to rest and sleep whenever I feel very tired, physically or mentally. She knows that whenever I am well or better, I am slightly manic and tend to do a lot of things, and tends to be very tired after that. She realized that if I do not get enough rest for a period of time and face much stress daily, I will eventually plunged into severe depression. Thank God for her love and kindness.
One of the thing I found really helpful recently when I felt overly strained and stressed, is to break away from whatever I was doing and just go for some rest, sleep or break. A tired and stretched brain doesn't function very well and thoughts can be distorted, which in turned can affect my feelings and behaviours. A tired and overly strained body can't function very well either.
As my freelance projects involved a lot of concentration and mental strength, I do feel more easily tired mentally. Thank God that working freelance allows me to work around my schedule and health whenever my deadlines are manageable. So I can break away from my work and just go to seek the Lord in prayers or read God's Words. I also can go and rest when I am too tired or stressed up. I normally don't need to take a nap but recently I have been needing to do that. And the rest is indeed helpful. A short nap can rejuvenate me to continue with my tasks later on.
Whenever I am manic, I have difficulty keeping to my sleeping hours as I have many racing thoughts and projects in my mind. There are 101 things that I wanted to do. But shorter sleeping hours are both a trigger as well as a symptom of manic. Sometimes I forget about this. Too many nights of sleeping lesser hours and not enough rest will caused my body to be very very tired and eventually may even plunged me into depression. Overly stretched brain and body cause the chemical in my brain to go topsy turvy. Recognizing this pattern is still not easy but I am learning by and by.
I suspect I am feeling the extreme tiredness now because of the effect of manic recently. Though I have attempted to slow down, I am still pretty occupied. I am praying for God's grace now to take short breaks throughout the day. I also try my best to exercise daily. And now I make it a point to rest when I feel very tired. And if necessary, I take a day off from my routine. On Tuesday, it was good because in the morning I went out with a friend for a short freelance project. Then in the afternoon my sister and her family came and we had a great time together. My nephew and nieces played some simple games with me and we had a great time.
A frequent reaction to daily stresses is insomnia. Thank God that my medications ie Lamictal, a mood stabiliser and Seroquel, an anti-psychotic, do help with my sleep and I take them just before I sleep. So far I don't have insomnia. So I am keeping to my sleeping hours as much as I can as I realize that it is important in managing bipolar as well as stress.
Thank God that He gives us physical rest and sleep, and strengthen and refresh our body, soul and mind, to walk anew with Him each day. Every night, I shall lay down and sleep, I commit myself and all things into His loving hands, and I will awake the next day with the joy of the Lord, because the LORD sustained me!
Thank God that He gives us spiritual rest in Him too, and refresh our soul as we rest in Him.
Thank God that I am feeling so much better now. Though physically still rather tired but I have much peace and joy in the Lord once again. The heaviness of heart and weight of cares in the recent weeks, seemed to have been lifted up by our Lord. My circumstances didn't change very much but my thoughts and feelings have changed. Thank God that He is working in my heart to strengthen me and enable me to rest in Him.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragements, my dear friends and blogging friends. May we find rest in God daily, physically, mentally and spiritually, and be refreshed each day to continue to know Him, love Him and serve Him wherever He places us. To God be the glory!
RESTING ON GOD
O GOD MOST HIGH, MOST GLORIOUS,
The thought of thine infinite serenity cheers me,
For I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed,
but thou art for ever at perfect peace.
Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment,
they stand fast as the eternal hills.
Thy power knows no bond,
thy greatness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion,
and my defeats are thy victories:
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrow,
to leave every concern entirely to thee,
every sin calling for Christ's precious blood;
Revive deep spirituality in my heart;
Let me live near to the great shepherd,
hear his voice, know its tones, follow its calls.
Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth,
from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit.
Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities,
burning into me by experience the things I know;
Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel,
that I may bear its reproach,
see Jesus as its essence,
know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee,
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.
(Taken from "The Valley of Vision", A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett, Published by The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997, Page 129.)