Rest without sleep, what?!

What does “rest” mean to you? If someone recommends you “take a break” or “get some rest” – how do you take it? Is it an affront? An insult? Are they secretly questioning your capacity?

Or do you hear it as a reminder from the Universe that you, too, are not superhuman? (Even though you behave like it most days!) I’m not talking about the much-hated snarky remark, “You look tired.” I mean the genuine suggestion or inquiry that perhaps you need more rest.

It’s different for all of us, but without a little intention, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking rest = sleep. Thank goodness that’s not true, or I’d be out of luck!

For me, exploring rest outside of sleep has allowed me to incorporate much more of it into my daily lifestyle. 

Rest is a cup of tea with local honey. 

Rest is a timer set for 10 minutes to indulge in my latest fiction novel. 

Rest is my favorite 3-song playlist and my watercolors. 

Rest is playing “aminals” (yes, misspelled and adorably mispronounced!) on the bed with my daughter.

Besides sleep, how else could you give yourself some much-needed rest? Start writing out some ways that make you feel good.

Now that you have some different ways rest can look for you, do you have a cosmic bat-signal for when you need rest? I know I do.

I’ve found I have three important signs that help me recognize when I need more rest:

1) I’m snappy with people the closest to me & easily irritated

2) Work feels like a drudge – even activities I usually enjoy or look forward to

3) I become hugely indecisive…about EVERYTHING

These may not be the sweetest of signals, but it’s important for each of us to do some self-examination so we can recognize when we’re getting clear signals to rest. And then – it’s time to take action and actually do the resting! 

How do you recognize when you need rest? Write those down along with the different ways rest can look for you.

And the next time you happen upon this idea of needing to rest- wherever it comes from – consider a reframe away from failure or critique and to a welcome nudge that yes, my friend, maybe it IS time for a rest. And then do so, darn it, in whatever way feels best for you!

- Nicole

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