Rest is something I am not good at. Truth be told I don’t think anyone is great at it. Lots of people may argue that point with me. Saying they are great at throwing on the PJ’s and binge watching tv for days on in while eating Doritos. Some will tell me that they can sleep till 11 am on weekends to “catch up” on rest. Neither one of those is rest. It’s a bad self-induced rehab. It is trying to recover from a life wrecked by not resting well, tying to implement these tactics doesn’t work. I can say I have done both. I know what bad rest plans do and what a great one can accomplish. You can design your life in a way that makes it great. Fantastic rest is possible.
Ever wonder why Jesus said He came to give us rest? He knew the value of it and the toil of this world. He is the ultimate answer for all the pining we do. There was nothing new about this struggle.
“Come to Me, all those toiling and being burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28
Those of us who are about personal growth and living our best lives tend to underestimate the value rest has. We were raised to know the value of hard work but, were never taught about resting properly. In fact our society sends the message that in order to be great you must be accessible and on all the time. People wear the badge of over work like it is a medal. We associate busy work with growth. But we can be busy and doing nothing of importance. In fact many of us are doing this. When did skipping vacations become something to honor?! When did reaching for our phone’s (by our bed) become the norm for the first thing to do?
Resting well requires more than sleep patterns. Dozens of people sleep a lot and they are still walking around exhausted and bone dry. Void of any excitement and joy. Why?
You know what I am talking about. It’s when you rely on caffeine and routine to survive. When you’re not living your potential and you know it. It is when you just can’t get it together no matter how many vacations you look forward to. It’s when you drive from point A to point B and then don’t remember how you got there.
So many people don’t understand the definition of really great rest. Proper rest is unique to all of us. It’s restorative, and what restores you is different from what restores me.
Here is a list of things that I do to find restoration. I encourage you to carve out space to find out what restores you to a healthy pace of being great!
Playlists – music can restore in a way nothing else can. Find what types evoke different emotions and encouragement. Make up different lists for different seasons or activities. I have a personal worship playlist, a motivation track, a writing playlist, an oldies list, a spa focus, and a gym lineup.
Books – It is something so wonderful! I have to keep it fresh with a selection of fun versus personal growth books. Don’t just pick one genre. Get creative and find what gives you rest and momentum all in one.
Bubble bath with epsom salts – This is my personal spot and everyone know it. Find a space/a spot where you can go. Just for you to be.
Pedicure – Take care of your feet, they are what carry you in life.
Exercise – Lots of people say this is not restful. I disagree. Exercise makes you healthier, it clears your head. It is proven that people sleep better, and that it has been used to cure certain kinds of depression.
Journaling – It a beautiful place to write out what your grateful for. Try it!!! For one month, write out five things your grateful for every single day.
Art – Some people like model cars, others like charcoal drawings. I enjoy coloring with my kids. I enjoy a beautiful art exhibition. I love old homes and castle tours. Look for beauty.
Vacation – Need I say anything else?! Go. Take every single day. Ask for more and don’t ever stop making this a big deal.
Gardening – It’s one step closer to the longing I hold for Eden. You could try hiking, mountain biking, or rowing on a lake. I have a friend that loves to rock climb. It’s restorative for her and she is super great at it. Just get outside.
Dance classes – Some say this should go under art and some say this should be under the exercise category but for me personally it gets its own subtitle. It is what speaks to my heart. Dance became the undertone to my life at a young age, and was a place I could express myself and feel complete. I am no longer dancing professionally or even teaching but the studio is still one of my favorite spots. God’s unique thumb print is on us all from the beginning. Each of us has something that speaks restoratively to us more than others. Cultivating that will bring out zeal, passion, and drive. For my husband, it’s playing a drum set. For my sister, it’s the art of cooking. These activities give them so much restorative energy. What is something that you love?
Commit to developing a pattern of rest. Slow down and ease up from the hustle. Learn to say “Enough”. It will help you in mastering the art of living exceptionally.
Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work. – Ralph Marston
To cease in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
synonyms:relax, take a rest, ease up/off, let up, slow down, have/take a break, unbend, unwind,