Restfulness

Since before Christmas our weekends have been consumed with obligations. When we thought we’d have a free weekend last minute phone calls would result in yet another place to go or thing to take care of. No real complaints, though, because that’s just living life. Visiting, working, shopping, volunteering, family obligations, and other things aren’t necessarily “bringing us down” but they can definitely add to our weary state of mind.

Tired, anyone? Let me just be a little honest: we’ve been tired! “Days off” aren’t really days off these days, are they? We go, go, go until we hit the wall. But it isn’t always healthy to hit the wall.The wall means we’ve done too much, gone too far.

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When did rest become a “four letter word?” I’m taking it back! Rest my goal. Restfulness is our healing. This weekend we have rested, and rested well. No alarm on Saturday. Woo hoo! Sure I was still up before 8 but I awoke on my own. Most of my Saturday I devoted to child-led activities. We watched Frozen first thing in the morning. Then we painted our crafty pieces of wood. Lunch, snacks, blankets, Gilligan’s Island, and reading. That’s it.

Sunday I spent most of the day reading for leisure while doing laundry. More soft blankets, food, and no schedule. I’ve been resting hard. And I do not feel guilty at all. I’m preparing my body for the week and clearing my mind of the last few months. Nothing bad has been going on, just “busyness.” Every once in a while a body (or family) just needs to unwind. Recharge.

I tell my runners not to ignore their rest days or recovery weeks. They groan because they would prefer to go all out. But I remind them that healing occurs during rest. Rest isn’t the enemy. Needing rest isn’t a weakness, it’s a necessity. Without rest our muscles won’t heal from injuries. Pushing through fatigue could invite distress, pain, or further injury.

Our minds crave rest, too. Sleep isn’t the only kind of rest. We need fun rest. Playing games, fishing, swimming, reading, leisurely yard work, don’t-leave-the-house-for-2-days rest. We need down time to reset our thoughts and prepare for things. Proper rest improves moods and lessens irritability. I don’t know about you but I don’t like being irritable.

Can’t take a whole weekend off? No problem, just try to put some rest in there somewhere. Plop in front of the TV to watch your favorite show for the evening. Or blow off the dinner dishes and sit outside until dark. (Or walk or play if sitting isn’t your style.) Just take a breather.

If you start to feel guilty for doing nothing simply shake it off. Literally shake your arms and hands as if you were shaking off water. Throw the guilt to the ground and go back to whatever you do to rest.