31 Days: Some practical ideas for ways to rest

I’ve been writing about the importance of rest for three weeks now, so let’s get practical for a few minutes. Rest is good. We need rest. But how do we make rest a priority, when it feels like we’ll fall off the treadmill of life and hurt ourselves if we try to slow down or even stop?

There’s always something (usually a lot of things) demanding our attention, our time and our energy.

Well I can’t tell you what you should do. I don’t know what your situation is like, what commitments you have, whether you’d happily curl up with a good book or stare at the ocean if you had the time, or whether you get antsy if you sit down for longer than five minutes at a time. Only you know that.

Making time for rest is not likely to come easily or naturally, and it will probably mean that you have to make it a priority over something else. You may need to sacrifice something you like doing but that doesn’t actually refresh you, or something you think you ‘need’ to do before you’re allowed to rest. You may need to leave some things undone or unfinished until after you’ve rested. If you aren’t used to giving yourself time to rest, you may need to start small as you get used to giving yourself permission to make rest a priority.

(Just quietly, if your skin started crawling at the very idea of leaving something unfinished or undone in order to rest, it just may be the most important thing you need.)

Rest

So here a few ideas for ways to rest. Use whatever is helpful for sparking your own ideas. One important thing to consider when choosing ways to rest, is whether they are life-giving for you, whether you feel refreshed. You might love watching movies and back-to-back episodes of your favourite tv series on Netflix, but if they’re not refreshing you, maybe that’s entertainment and not rest.

Some of these ideas may take a few minutes during your work day, some could take a whole day on the weekend. It’s up to you.

  • take a walk along the beach or in a park
  • sit on a bench and watch the world go by
  • read a good book
  • pray, read scripture, and listen for how the Lord might be speaking to you
  • sleep – yay!
  • cook something you love to eat – share it with friends or family
  • write in a journal (maybe in your favourite coffee shop)
  • stretch
  • lay on the floor and listen to your favourite music
  • catch up for coffee or a meal with a good friend
  • take a break from your electronic devices (yes, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer – whatever is dragging you along at warp speed to keep up with the world)
  • sit in your favourite chair, close your eyes and listen for the Lord’s whisper (you might need some solitude for this one)
  • do something creative – draw, paint, take photographs, sew or knit, play music (however you like to express your unique creativity)
  • drink more water (note to self!)
  • take regular breaks at work (use an egg timer or an app to remind you to stop and stretch or do something else for a few minutes – try the Pomodoro technique)

I’d love to hear some of your ideas for rest. Drop me a line in the Comments.

Happy resting!

The Rhythm of Rest

This is Day 22 of The Rhythm of Rest series (Write 31 Days challenge).

Image credit: morguefile.com

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