Rest and Restore

Rest, sleep, restore.

Your body and mind aren’t just designed to work. They are designed to rest and to sleep, NOT to be always on the go without downtime. Restoration happens during our rest and sleep. But if you’re anything like me, you’re better at the being busy side of life than you are at prioritising rest…

Yet your health, business, productivity, creativity, relationships & spirit will thank you if you take regular time out to rest & restore.


And don’t skimp on sleep either. It’s not wasted time, it’s a strategic investment! 

You cannot hope to be at your best mentally if you’re sleep deprived, nor physically, and if you’re worn down and burnt out, you’ll not have the reserves to be there for those you care about and want to support, either. So taking time out to care for yourself is NOT selfish, in fact, in many ways, it’s not about you at all! It’s a crucial means by which we ‘refill our tanks’ so we can be our best for those around us that we care for… though hopefully that argument was only a supplement and you value yourself highly enough to believe in taking care of yourself already 😉

For me, Sunday is my usual rest day. I go to church, sing my heart out, and otherwise mooch & take in life. I know it can feel like you’re being ‘lazy’ if culture has taught you to idolize busyness, and I’m certainly not immune to the lure of workaholism but I can’t tell you the number of ‘aha’ moments & great ideas I’ve had on days when I was *off* the clock.

… And now a change from our regular programming…

When you DO take time out, what do you do? What feels fun, different, restorative to you? Depending on how introverted or extroverted you are, how you re-energise may be quite different. For example, Jenny, my awesome PA (and sister) is very extroverted and so something social with lots of friends would be energising for her. My idea of re-energising though is much more introverted, so although I love a good party occasionally, if I were looking to re-charge my batteries, I’d be as likely to disappear off in my caravan with a pile of good books or meet up with 1 or 2 good friends…

What would it be for you? What re-charges your batteries? How do you switch off from the cares of life- even for a few minutes at a time? Where do you go? Whose company do you feel better for having had?

The idea of restful or restorative activities is to take a break from the routine, from normal everyday stresses. One side effect of these breaks away is that we can have a little distance from our ‘normal’ life and it can free us up to see our struggles and dilemmas from a fresh perspective which in turn can help us see new possibilities for making progress.

Again, rest is strategic. And I for one am determined to get better at it!! I know on those weeks that I do take a day off, it makes me more productive in the week. Even if you really can’t (yet) carve out a full day each week, I challenge you to carve out a chunk of time & just stop, rest, breathe…

You CAN do it

I know it can feel like you have too much to do and can’t afford to take time to rest. But if you don’t take care of your body, you will get ill- trust me, as a workaholic in remission, I know from personal experience! But as against your schedule and as unnatural to you as it might feel, you CAN learn to schedule your time, learn to say ‘no’ where you need to, even learn to relax and take time off. So don’t buy the gremlin lie that you can’t. You CAN. Resolve that you’re going to work on it and you CAN learn to rest and restore yourself. I dare you 😉

COMMENT BELOW: what stands out for you from this article? Are you good at resting?? What activities/places feel restorative and rejuvenating for you? Let me know!



7 thoughts on “Rest and Restore

  1. I walk my dog by myself and that will be a quick way to recharge myself during the day.I have learned to recognize the physical signs of pushing myself to hard .My body starts to ache and I become short tempered.

    • Being newly retired I have such a great appreciation for the ability to take R&R whenever I want to. Restoration happens during trail running and hikes with the dogs. I wish I could have started this new rhythm years ago but I certainly appreciate it now!

    • Sounds good Claudia! How did you learn to pull back or perhaps the better question might be when did you realise you needed to enact this restorative activity? Was it a conscious choice or did you see the positive effects on your moods of the solo walks first? 🙂

  2. I do work, errands, etc in the morning. The afternoon is for reading and taking a nap. The other restorative is a walk in the woods with my dogs. I find a day without a set schedule to be restorative as well.

  3. I sleep more than I used to now that I am retired but what really makes me feel awake and alert is a great dog training session. I have several and each one is involved in various venues so I am always working on and learning something new. If I am really tired from raking leaves all afternoon, sitting on the floor with a dachshund working on scent articles is fantastic. Been in front of the computer too long? I go out and work on 2X2 weaves with a collie. My springer likes trick training. We make up stuff together. Her rally and agility background make her perfect for freestyle goofing off. Each of the others also has his or her special niche. Together, we keep each other young.

    • Sounds great Leslie! How brilliant that you have different activities to enjoy with different dogs- it sounds like there’s a dog for every mood! I wonder too if this helps you see them as their own inimitable characters, rather than having the temptation to compare them to each other? I know they’re different breeds and sizes etc which helps, but that pesky comparison gremlin is sooo common, yet it sounds like you’ve found a way past it? Thanks for sharing! 😀

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