Make Yourself Rest.
Resting can be harder than it sounds. Many of us have created lives that are so accelerated, that when we stop for a moment, our minds keep moving. We think of other things and get lost in our thoughts. We can remain in this state until something more interesting comes along to further occupy our attention. So although we may not wish to, we need to stop…
Hammertime. Make Yourself Rest.
“Rest and be thankful.” ― William Wordsworth
There are two components of resting: the body and the mind.
1. Resting the Body.
The first step in is to make sure that your body gets the rest it deserves. This starts with a good night of sleep. Our bodies do a lot of their important repair work when we sleep so make sure you get a lot of it. Now that you’re rested let’s go ahead and… do nothing. Depending on your lifestyle, this may be very difficult. We become accustomed to always moving, so when we stop, something feels off.
During my recent vacation I drove a total of about 2,800 Km. (1,750 Miles), and when coupled with sight-seeing, and nighttime celebrating, I was dead tired as my vacation ended. The following work week felt long, and I was so ready to do nothing this weekend. On Saturday, I tried doing nothing. I tried so hard. But I kept thinking of all the things I could be doing.
I decided set out to get some fresh air and exercise in the afternoon, and promptly twisted my ankle. It kind of felt like the Universe saying – if you would’ve just listened and rested, none of this would’ve happened. As you can guess, with a bad ankle, Sunday was a forced rest day. I slept in and took it easy all day. Ok, message received.
2. Resting the Mind.
This can sometimes be the trickiest element of getting rest : our minds. We know how to rest our body – stay in bed / sit on your sofa / lay in your backyard etc., but how can we rest our minds? It can sometimes be very difficult to turn off thinking. We can be sitting, but if our mind is thinking of stressful things, are we really resting? If we are laying comfortably, but our mind makes us feel guilty about it, are we really relaxing?
I can say that in my recent twisted-ankle story, the early part of my Saturday was body resting, but my mind wasn’t fully enjoying it. I should have been thankful for the moment, instead I was thinking of how I could better take advantage of the beautiful day. When we make a decision to do something, we need to accept it and try to enjoy it. I forgot this lesson, and then had to relearn it, the hard way.
We’re not built to go non-stop all of the time, so make sure you take a moment to slow down. Get sleep, rest, enjoy it, and rejuvenate yourself.
I know resting becomes much more difficult when children are added to the household, so it may be easier for me than for you, but I think it’s important to everyone. Maybe you can make a self-deal that after getting your child in bed, you will retire to your bed to read and sleep early, one night per week.
However you do it, just please make sure that you do. Make Yourself Rest.