If you were offered a day off to rest, what would that look like? Rest for moms is often elusive and I recently learned why resting for me sometimes means shopping by myself versus taking on a new creative project versus escaping to my folks house (where I am fed, have access to HGTV and no one asks me for anything). It also helps explain why bubble baths felt like work but the day after Christmas when my kids knew not to ask me for anything was so relaxing.
May I present to you…the nine types of rest.
Maybe these can inspire some ideas for the times when you crave rest but don’t want to just “chill.”
- time away
- permission to be selfish/unhelpful
- something unproductive
- connection to art / nature
- solitude to recharge
- break from responsibility
- stillness to decompress
- safe space
- alone time at home
Let’s walk through them, shall we?
This could be time away from your computer or home office. Close your laptop and take a walk. Or maybe it’s time for a road trip to just get out of town for an afternoon. Just get away from your routine.
Permission to be selfish/unhelpful
I love helping people so the rest that comes from NOT helping is huge. We don’t have to help all the people all the time. It’s OK to say “no” in order to get some rest.
Woop woop! Heeeelllllooo, Netflix binge! Set aside time to…do nothing. Resist the urge to “get something done.” Just…be. Check out! It’s good for your mental health. And for goodness sake…don’t call it a “guilty pleasure.” Enjoy it, guilt free!
Connection to art/nature
Art, creativity, being outside…aaaaahhhhh. So restful and rejuvenating! Consider starting a regular creative practice. Keep art supplies handy so you can create something when inspiration strikes. Maybe your home needs a dedicated art table. Very little is more therapeutic than making art to embrace imperfection. Walk through a botanical garden or art museum and get a two for one! My local favorite is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Solitude to recharge
We need time alone to recharge, even if just to escape the energy of all the people around us all day. We have to be around ourselves all the time so we better enjoy our own company! First thing or last thing of the day is a great chance to be alone. As a busy mom, a trip to the store alone can work wonders for me.
Break from responsibility
Sometimes taking a break from your responsibilities is the most responsible thing you can do! It’s OK to ignore the to-do list for a while. Make some time where you do nothing. It’s not procrastinating–it’s intentional rest.
Stillness to decompress
If you tend to go-go-go all day and collapse into bed, this one is for you. Just sitting with your feet propped up for 15 minutes can be restful. Your body needs time to come down. Make sure to have an effective before-bed routine, too. Here’s mine.
Where do you feel safe? Maybe this is your sacred space, a favorite seat in your back yard or your front porch swing. Create that safe space and spend time there. The more time you spend there, the more connected to it you will feel. Rest in the stillness! After all, every woman needs a space of her own. This could also be a bench at your favorite park or even your aunt’s kitchen table. Go there as often as you need to rest.
Alone time at home
This is when you kick the family out for the afternoon or ask your room mate to find her own getaway for the weekend. Wear what you want, do what you want and savor the time in your home. If it’s not already, make your home your haven.
We all need rest but it will look different depending on the day. Tune into what you need and incorporate these types of rest into your schedule on a regular basis. It is so important to know yourself and know what works for you to function optimally. Honor how you were created and live up to your purpose by embracing all the types of rest.
Here’s a free PDF you can print and ask someone you love what kind of rest they need!