Rest—just like air, food and water—is an essential ritual of being human! Often, we push it aside because ‘busy’ is glorified, ‘busy’ is our comfort zone. Pursing quiet, rest, relaxation and self care can make us uncomfortable, as if somehow we will lose our status or our identity.
Rest IS a productive activity.
In a world of increasing needs, noise and expectations, it takes more intentional energy to rest than to continue in the busy.
“You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still and rest.” – Morgan Harper Nichols
Reality is that rest and self care won’t happen unless we schedule it into our rituals! Start small by planning daily + weekly rest. Treasure this. Prioritize this. Reflect on how rest impacts your relationships, responsibilities, clarity of mind, productivity, sense of calm and so much more.
Sleep vs rest
Let’s first understand the difference between sleep and rest and why we need both! In fact there are 7 types of rest each human needs.
Sleep: to cease being awake
Rest: to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength
^ ‘Refresh and recover’— I love those words. Rest means to embrace quiet, play, leisure. Rest comes in silence and in laughter, by engaging your brain in a book or your body in activity.
We’ve trained our brains to plan and schedule everything, yet when our head hits the pillow we can’t sleep. Why? Because our bodies need to rest in order to sleep and restore effectively.
Explore our Holistic Sleep Guide for more tips >
How to practically schedule rest and self care into your routines
- Choose when you will schedule rest: Intentionally scheduling rest is the first to-do item in our Sunday Prep Ritual. This insures you make it happen!
- Schedule rest when you know it can happen: Take a look at your week and carve out 30 minutes when you know you can actually make rest happen. Don’t cram rest into your schedule on a day that has too many other responsibilities because you know it will get pushed.
- Start small: Start with 5 minutes of quiet, a change of scenery or some self-care that allows you to press pause and refresh. Just a few minutes can recalibrate your whole day and infuse you with energy, focus and patience.
- Be realistic: Adjust your rest rituals on your current season—this doesn’t mean you abandon rest but you may need to adjust your expectations of what rest practically looks like for you in this season. If you have a busy week of work meetings or travel, a 15 minute run might be realistic. If you have little ones, your quiet bath may be interrupted as they want to splash in the tub together. Still put forward the effort to rest and recalibrate.
- Ask for help: You may be in a season with little ones where you need to ask for help to make rest happen. It takes a village—and that saying is true for a reason! Consider swapping 1 day a month with a friend so that you can have a few hours or day of rest and she can too!
- Believe that rest is not selfish: You don’t need to do more to ‘earn’ rest. Mindset is everything! Rest allows you to show up as your best self to serve your responsibilities and loved ones.
Simple ways to practice self care and rest daily
The daily discipline of rest and self care is about purposefully recharging—don’t wait till you are burnt out and empty. Incorporate the daily rituals of rest and self care so that you can show up as the best version of yourself.
- exercise in a manner you love, that allows you to ‘rest’ from other responsibilities
- get into bed early, rather than sleeping, do a restful activity
- go for a drive in the country
- sit and breathe in the sun
- take a bath (even if your little ones join)
- get into your PJs before you make dinner
- choose one space to declutter (yes, this is considered rest to some)
- play a board game
- put your phone on airplane mode for 1 hour each day
- set aside 15 minutes for a calm, quiet breakfast
- do your makeup and put on some lipstick with confidence
- take 5 minutes to stretch and deeply breathe
Take rest a step further
Schedule a quarterly and yearly rest! This could be as simple as choosing now when you will take 1 week a quarter off of social media or as grand as having 2 nights away each year so you can relax and intentionally fill up your cup!
Alright, now that you have the framework for creating rest and self care, do the first step. Schedule it and guard that time as sacred!