How and when do you engage your life in rest?  Rest brings refreshment to your mind, body and soul. It can refresh, rejuvenate and restore your soul.  What interferes with rest currently in your life?  Examine the following four ways to engage your life in rest.

Examine your mindset

For me, the most challenging aspect of resting is my mindset.  I have always been a doer.  I get going in high speed and keep going.  There’s always the next project that is calling to me.  However, I am slowly learning that pacing, breaks and not working are okay, too.  As an entrepreneur, I am my own boss.

The stumbling block towards rest can be mindset. Mindset’s definition is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.  Your mindset towards rest can actually get in the way of engaging in rest.  What’s your fixed view of rest?

For me, I need to give myself permission to take a break, to not work this afternoon or take a few days off if the upcoming schedule will be packed. The permission to rest is a big deal for me and honestly a little uncomfortable until I realize God’s calling to Sabbath rest – He rested on the 7th day, I am to rest as well.

What is your mind saying to you?

Better yet, what is God saying to you?

Determine how to practice rest

Once I give myself permission, then what does rest look, like sound like, feel like?

One thing I am realizing is I need to be better at remembering to breathe deeply and take breaks.  When working intensely, it’s easy to breathe shallowly.

Taking the time for breath prayer is one way to practice rest and restore my soul. .

Your rest might include

  • taking a short nap
  • reading a good book
  • coloring in an adult coloring book
  • sitting outside
  • doing yoga.
  • listening to music
  • enjoying time in prayer

Notice the variety.  Napping and yoga are bodily resting.  Reading and coloring are mind resting.  Sitting outside, listening to music and praying can be good for mind, body and heart.

What about you?  What do you need to give yourself permission to do for restoration and rejuvenation?

Decide when to practice rest

When to include rest in your daily rhythms of life can be challenging.   Time evaporates when working on projects.  Without programming rest into your calendar, it may not happen.

Sounds funny to have to program in rest, doesn’t it? However, by putting it in your calendar, you have something to look forward to as well as be equipped to fight the “don’t have time to rest” voice in your head.   Julia Cameron, from the book, The Artist’s Waycalls it “making an artist date for yourself” time, even an hour, that is strictly for you to engage in rest, beauty and relaxation.

The other thing about programming rest rhythms in your calendar, you see when the busy times of your week or month are and may want to include even more rest.

For example, I have three twelve-hour days coming up on a big project.  I realized I needed to add rest time before and after those three days in order to be well-prepared for that particular project.  You may not always have control of your schedule that way, but you can at least not add anything extra.

Another way to plug in rest is by scheduling breaks.  Pomodoro, the practice of setting your timer for 50 minutes and breaking for 10 can keep you focused when you need to accomplish a dedicated piece of work. By turning off all other distractions, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in that focused time.

Discover what you value

What value does rest bring into your life?  Realize how important the rest is for your brain and how it brings restoration and rejuvenation.  I notice when I keep going, going, going, I feel foggy, mushy-brained the next day.

All work is not dependent on me.  I can trust Him to show me the way and trust that work and relationships are all in His hands. As Jesus says, in Matthew 11:28-30, from The Message translation:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Doesn’t living freely and lightly sound wonderful?  He is the one who will show you have to take a real rest.

What about you?

Where do you need to start to engage with more rest?  Your mental and spiritual health improve by giving yourself permission,  especially in times of this pandemic.

I would love to join you in this exploration.  Let me know how I might be able to support you or pray for you.

You can rest to restore, rejuvenate and replenish your life, no matter your circumstances.  He will show you how. 

Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God.  She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer.  She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you.  Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today.