Earlier this month, I turned the page of my 2020 Calendar: December’s painting was Time to Rest.
I then had this idea to write to you about the importance of rest. And while I was writing about it, I realized how much I needed rest, and I paused my writing. This post was not urgent and recent events at work and at home were too much for me: it was Time to Rest. And I did. I had some rest, and now I am back to my writing, refreshed.
But what is it about rest that can sometimes make us feel guilty and even stressed? How is it that even though we know we need rest, we often choose action over it?
We long for rest, but then feel anxious that we’re being lazy. Is it because, in this society, productivity is always applauded, and the rest is not, even though the former is impossible without the latter?
Remind yourself regularly that you’re not a robot, and you can’t do everything. Some tasks simply won’t get done and accept it. It’s not that big of a deal. Acceptance is a good way to increase mental space, which is important to rest.
How many times I told employees, telling me that they were going to work over the weekend, to get some rest instead and never work during the weekend. How many times I said to people asking me how I could function without coffee, that I prefer to listen to my body and feel the tiredness, in order to know when I am doing too much and need to rest.
We need to remove this idea that taking time to rest and refresh ourself is a negative thing. Rest is an integral part of life. And we cannot function without this precious time, and rest does not mean doing nothing.
According to Joshua Becker, from “Becoming Minimalist”, rest allows us to have a healthier body and a healthier mind, less stress, more energy, deeper relationship, a better balance. It increases production. It gives us an opportunity for reflection.
Here are a few ways of getting some rest.
· Exercise (run, pilates, yoga, walking…)
· Meditate daily
· Take micro-breaks (‘moments of art’, work breaks) and macro-breaks (vacation).
· Practice not thinking, be here and now
· Celebrate weekends
· Take a bath
· Try aromatherapy
· Try to get an appropriate amount of sleep, but don’t extend sleep time in the morning, by snoozing the alarm for too long,
· Listen to instrumental music or ambient noise or the silence,
The holidays are here. The end of a tough year. This is the opportunity to rest. But it can also be a very busy time of the year sometimes.
Let me know what you will do to rest during this time of year.