Rest is highly unappreciated. Many people define “success” with “busy-ness,” meaning I, like many others, tend to feel useless if I’m not doing something to further my work. We hear about how CEOs read a billion times a week, how successful people are those that work the longest hours, and inevitably we are discouraged from giving our brains and our bodies a break.
But rest is really important for the brain. Science says so. No matter what kind of body you have, it’s unhealthy, not admirable, to overwork yourself.
Last year, I left very little time for rest and found that being tired did nothing to help my productivity – in fact, it ended up hurting me in the long run. I really believed I would have felt happier and more fulfilled if i had only taken the time to rest once in a while.
I’m trying to rest more this year. It isn’t easy, but I’ve started compiling a list of things that help me relax. Here’s what I have so far:
- Singing along to music in the car (as loudly as you want)
- Going out of my way to get food I really like.
- Taking a walk. I often like going to the mall just to walk around – the idea is to get myself moving.
- Going to a coffee shop, getting a drink, and just sitting. No working.
- Watching a show on TV without any other tabs open (this is really hard, I’m still working on this one).
- Pausing and focusing on my breathing for a few minutes (the Psalm 46:10 rule)
- Dedicating time in the morning to read. Even just a few minutes of reading helps me feel like I’ve started my day both calmly and productively.
The more I practice these little rests, the happier I feel. I still work hard, of course. But allowing myself to eat something nice, or to take a walk, or even to just breathe for a few minutes feels so luxuriously good. It really puts me in a better mood.
Everyone out there has their own ways of resting, and I hope everyone finds out what they are. I’m looking out for more ways to rest in 2018.