What is REST? 

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit” – Banksy

If ever there was a time to remember this, it’s now. We’re in a season of change. Changing legislation, changing culture, changing schedules, even how we connect with our loved ones is changing!

Change is tiring; and that tiredness can make us believe that we won’t cope, or we’ll miss something important. When we’re caught in this mind-set then we can make poor decisions or even consider quitting. If you’re feeling like that this year, then know that you’re not alone. It’s important to acknowledge this is a year that is asking more of us than we’ve had to give out before. Some of those challenges are new and for some of us it means adapting our existing challenges to this new season.

“Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a wealth of research supporting the need for rest and the benefits of limiting periods of intense study or work to maximise our creativity and success in any given task. Studies have found that the most successful scientists often only work intensively between 10-20 hours per week. Interestingly, like our sleep cycle, 90 minutes is a reasonable amount of time for intense creativity and productivity and mundane daily tasks can be spaced around these periods of time.

We are not machines; we need to acknowledge that our body has needs and to make best use of our body, it needs care.

Take some time to learn to rest. And yes, it is something that we need to learn. Surprisingly, rest doesn’t always come easily, even though it’s built into us as a basic need. Culturally we have been taught to override it and push through it and we call this perseverance. BUT true perseverance will require times of rest. We need the time of rest before we can push through to succeed.

Rest is not a lack of perseverance. 

So, what is rest and how do we take that time? The first step is to pause what you’re doing and really think about what you find restful. Ask yourself what kinds of activities slow you down and take your attention off the responsibilities that are placed on your shoulders. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  1. Time away (from your desk, your routine, your home, your work)
  2. Permission to not be helpful
  3. Something “unproductive”
  4. Connection to art and nature
  5. Solitude to recharge
  6. A break from responsibility
  7. Stillness to decompress
  8. Safe space
  9. Alone time at home or in your room

Keep in mind that God built a day of rest into our week. He didn’t sit down at the end of day six and think “Phew! That was hard work, I need to have a nap!” He didn’t take the seventh day off, after creating everything, because He was tired. He gave us a day every week to slow down, be still and reconnect ourselves to our true purpose. Schedule in your rest because you need it – and it’s okay to acknowledge that you need it.

“Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life.” – The Minds Journal