Are you good at resting?
I know that may seem like a silly question, but many of us are not very good at it (for the record, I’m the worst!).
According to Cambridge Dictionary, we can understand rest as: to (cause someone or something to) stop doing a particular activity or stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength.
For most of us, however, that’s not as easy as it sounds. In my case, my productivity-loving parents, the media, my competitive nature, and my anxiety have driven me into a constant state of doing.
That’s great when you need to get something done, but we exist for something more dynamic and more subtle than merely accomplishing things or leaving a legacy.
We are human beings — not human doings.
Not only does constantly striving to achieve things potentially up our cortisol levels and mess up our microbiome, it creates neuropathways that are not conducive to a mindful existence. In other words, the more we focus on doing things, the more our mind rewires around that, which makes us harder to be mindful — which, in case you’ve not been following along, ain’t so great.
So how do we mindfully go the other direction? By getting more rest.
Hi, I'm Laura.
If you're enjoying this article, I'd like to invite you to sign up for The Weekly Practice — for FREE!
Each week, I include bits of inspiration, tips, and free exercises (just like this one) to help you live authentically, dynamically, and boldly by building a personal practice of Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose and Surrender.
Sign up and check it out. I think you're going to like it!
And, if you need to, go ahead and schedule it — put “rest” on your calendar or do whatever it takes to make rest a bigger part of your existence and see what subtle difference you may notice. To get you started, here’s 29 ways to get your rest on:
- Take a silent, mindful walk
- Spend time (or even sitting) in nature
- Play an instrument
- Snuggle with your puppy
- Snuggle with your partner (snuggling with your puppy and your partner only counts as one, but it’s twice the love!)
- Mindfully drink a glass of water
- Mindfully drink a glass of wine (more yummy, but more calories!)
- Eye gazing
- Have sex
- Paint your toe nails
- Close your eyes for ten minutes
- Close your eyes and listen to your breath
- Meditate for 20 minutes
- Stare out your window and daydream
- Silently sip a cup of tea
- Listen to slow and juicy music while moving your body
- Take a 20-minute nap
- Take a long, warm bath
- Take a long, cool bath
- Turn off your phone
- Turn off social media
- Don’t answer the phone
- Listening to your favorite overture or album, while doing NOTHING else (put away your device)
- Sew, knit, or do crafts
- Write a letter
- Read a good book