On Nov. 7, Daylight Saving Time ends, and we all get an extra hour. Here are three suggestions:
1.) The first (and most obvious) option is: sleep, blessed sleep, perchance to dream! Today’s lifestyle leaves many of us stressed out and drained from too many activities and projects, too little time to rest. Studies show that lack of sleep contributes to obesity, heart disease, and even increased mortality. So let your body get that extra hour of much needed sleep.
2.) Get out to the country! Or even your own backyard. Recent studies have found that “green exercise” — any activity outdoors, in nature, has many health benefits. Even as little as five minutes spent in the beauty of God’s creation offers improved mood, increased sense of well-being, and reduced risk of mental illness.
You can take a walk in the park, putter in your garden, hike a mountain trail, or spend time by the water, “simply messing about in boats,” as Ratty says to Mole in The Wind in the Willows.
3.) Pray. “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God,” the cathechism eloquently asserts. It is a gift and a mystery. We speak with the One whom our soul loves. It is the one gateway out of this world, Father Romano Guardini writes in The Lord. We can listen to the Lord as he speaks to us, guides us in His will, calms our anxieties, heals our souls.
God calls us to prayer, and through prayer we can bring to him our troubles, our joys, our needs. It was Abraham’s intercessory prayer that saved the city of Sodom from destruction — even if there were only 10 innocent people in the whole city. “For the sake of those ten,” replied the Lord, “I will not destroy it” (Genesis 18: 22-32). God listened to Abraham’s plea. When we spend time with Christ in prayer, we become more like Him.
The fruits of true prayer are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Take this opportunity to establish a new daily habit of prayer.