In case you’re looking for a sign, excuse, or permission to rest - THIS IS IT.
Stop what you’re doing, take 5 minutes to read this post and when you’re finished I want to challenge you to take me up on the dare, K? I can promise you two things; you need it and it will help you excel. As if that doesn’t give you an incentive?
Let’s start here. Rest is essential, although in today's culture it can oftentimes be seen as more of a luxury. I’d even go as far as to say that “rest” is the secret sauce to success and living a life of more purpose.
I was adamant from the beginning of motherhood that I could do it all AND wanted to do it all. Showing up as a wife and a mom was my identity and I didn’t want anyone else to take that away from me. I had this handled and would wear the mom cape proud. Until things started to shift and my health took a hit because of my lack of self care and rest. I was jolted into realizing that I needed time for myself in the midst of everything else that vies for my attention. I’m starting to understand that before I can pour into others I must first fill myself. I’m learning and realizing that actually my giving to my kids, my husband, family, friends, community, church – should come from the overflow of my cup. Anything other than that is just giving my second best. My best comes when I am filled, rested and have margin.
Rest may look different for each and everyone of you. To some it may mean taking some time out to sit and read an actual book. To others it might be a case of saying strategic “nos” in order to make space for some “you” time. Maybe it’s just grabbing a coffee + catching up with a girlfriend. Whatever the case, we all need some space for ourselves, even if it’s only thirty minutes. Without it we will be no good for no one.
Here are 3 simple ways to implement rest.
Decide what it’s going to look like.
What is it that brings you joy and makes you feel rested and renewed? Start by discovering what that is. What brings you life and sparks joy? When you have a plan it’s easier to start to implement this “you time”. Is it going outside and getting some fresh air that re energizes? Are you more rested after a walk around the mall with a coffee? Maybe you feel a little more refreshed after a fresh pedicure? Rest doesn’t have to include a pillow and a blanket (although it could!), it’s whatever feeds your soul. Maybe it’s taking some time for self-care and a soak in the bath? Start by making a list of the things that make you feel renewed and refreshed, then pick a few that you’re going to start implementing.
Schedule it in.
Pencil in a date in your planner or time in your day to do something that fills you up. As ironic as it may sound, my “rest” sometimes comes in the morning before my household wakes up. Setting my alarm clock a little earlier allows me some quiet moments with my journal, bible and a cup of coffee and that “me time” sets me up for the entirety of my day. So find that something and make sure to schedule it in just like you would an appointment with the dentist. Make it a non-negotiable in your diary and make sure to show up on time just like you would any other appointment. I KNOW with a mountain of to-dos this is easier said than done, but I promise it’s worth it if you stick to it.
Let go of the guilt and give yourself grace.
If you’re like me then this is probably the hardest one of them all. In our fast paced world it’s easy to convince yourself that resting is weak, but spoiler-alert, it’s actually the very thing that will lead to true success. Marriages, families, even work and to-do lists are stronger when we rest and refuel. Let go of the myth that you’ve got to be everything for everyone and learn to prioritise yourself. Learn that your “nos” make room for the right “yeses”. The sooner you give yourself grace, permission and see rest as non-negotiable, the quicker you will begin to live a more fulfilled life. True giving comes from the overflow of the cup, not an empty one.
Here’s the deal and the dare, you need rest. You deserve it and you will be better for it. Start by carving out 30 minutes this week for some uninterrupted rest. Then maybe add two 30 minute slots next week. The important thing is that you start, commit and follow through. You need it, your body needs it and those around you will benefit from you being more rested and giving from the overflow and not an empty cup.
A few other suggestions to create a life with rest:
Grab a set of our positive affirmation cards and remind yourself that it’s okay to rest, that you are enough and other affirmations that are sure to fill you up.
Head to Spotify and grab one of our playlists. Sometimes cuddling up to good music with a pen and a journal is the perfect way to create rest.
Sink into a good book. We love all of Reese Witherspoons Book Club recommendations. You won’t be disappointed if you start there.