What Is a Sabbatical and Why You Need One

Photo by Andrea Fabry on Unsplash

We call them seasons of life for a reason. Sometimes they’re warm and beautiful, but sometimes they’re downright cold and miserable.

Undoubtedly when the storms roll in, our stress level skyrockets.

Read on and learn how a sabbatical can help you weather the storms of life.

The Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale: Sound familiar?

Psychologists say that we go through twelve seasons of life. Most of us are in one of these three stages:

* Early Adulthood — you can’t wait to get into the race.

* Midlife — you’re straining to keep up with the rest of the pack.

* Mature Adulthood — you’re at mile 20 of the marathon, and in desperate need of an aid station!

In 1967, two psychologists developed the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, which ranked the big life events that caused people the most stress.

Take a look at the top 10 stress events. Are any familiar to you?

1. Death of a spouse
2. Divorce
3. Marital separation
4. Imprisonment
5. Death of a close family member
6. Personal injury or illness
7. Marriage
8. Dismissal from work
9. Marital reconciliation
10. Retirement

Navigating these life events can take a lot of out of you. They require resilience, determination, planning, focus and lots of love. But you need something else to stay healthy.

It’s called: REST.

Sabbath = Complete Rest

In Exhausted? Burned-Out? Rejuvenate by Taking a Sabbath I encouraged you to take a day off each week to recover and recharge — a sabbath day.

But did you know that there is another type of sabbath, one that stretches for longer than a day?

“For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest.” Lev 25:3–4 NLTse

Why do you think it was good idea to give the land a sabbath?

I’ve come to this conclusion: the land was the most important asset.

It produced sustenance through farming, livestock, and water. It provided protection via natural barriers. And it created wealth through natural resources.

Taking care of the land was was the modern day equivalent of asset protection!

Letting the land rest meant that it rejuvenated. It remained healthy and it grew stronger. That’s why even today, the health of the land is equated to the health of a nation.

Do you see the parallel? YOU ARE THE LAND.

You need a sabbatical

Just like the land, you may be weathering a tough season, experiencing a drought or some form of attack.

Admit it, you need a break.

In academic circles professors take sabbaticals. A sabbatical is an extended period of time that includes rest, reflection, rejuvenation and preparation. 99% of us can’t take a year off, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t set-aside a longer period of time so that we can recover and recharge.

Don’t view a sabbatical as wishful thinking. Don’t think it’s just for “someone else who has more time.” Plan and take a sabbatical, and I’m confident that you’ll be better prepared for the seasons of life that will undoubtedly blow into your life.

Be Wise and Successful…

1. Grow awareness of life’s seasons. What seasons are your family, your co-workers and your peer group experiencing? Take 5 minutes to think about how you might prepare yourself for similar seasons.

2. Treat yourself to some self-care. Be honest with yourself. Admit to the struggles you’ve experienced. See value in the healing. Think asset protection and you’re the asset. Like the land, you need to prepare yourself for future growing seasons.

3. Plan your sabbatical. What would your sabbatical look like? How long would your sabbatical last? What would you do on your sabbatical? Don’t get your sabbatical confused with a vacation. Most of us come back from our vacations needing a vacation. Filling your days with vacation type activities defeats the purpose of a sabbatical.

4. Book your sabbatical. Everyone needs a sabbatical. Even if you need to start small, start there. Look at your calendar. Pencil it in. Commit to it.

Originally published at https://bewiseandsuccessful.com.



Entrepreneur. Encourager. I’m passionate about making wiser decisions and living a strategic and successful life.

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Greg Longoria

Entrepreneur. Encourager. I’m passionate about making wiser decisions and living a strategic and successful life.