A few weeks ago I was completely wiped out by the flu, I spent a whole week in bed and watched too many friends episodes (I know, it turns out you can watch too much, who’d have thought?!).
It took me a while to get back into the swing of life, everything felt like a real effort and my energy was pretty low for a week or two after the flu had disappeared. I’d go to the gym or uni and just come home and mope about.
All I wanted to do was rest, and I felt really guilty about that when there was 10000 more productive things I could be doing.
My body was telling me I needed to chill but I struggled to relax and kept telling myself off for being lazy or sluggish.
I’m feeling completely myself again now, but those moments of frustration that my body wasn’t letting me be my normal busy self left me wondering- how do we truly embrace guilt-free rest in a busy season?
WHY IS REST SO IMPORTANT?
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Whether you’re a student, in full time work, or a stay at home mum, life can be busy.
We all have different responsibilities, but whatever you’re balancing right now I want you to know it’s ok to take some time to just rest.
Practically, I’m sure you have a good idea of how you rest. Maybe it’s a coffee with a friend, an episode of your favoirite show, curling up with a book or just laying on your bed listing to music.
But, taking time out of your day for a restful activity is sometimes also joined by thoughts like ‘I should be working on that essay‘ or ‘maybe I should just check my emails one more time, in case something urgent’s come through’.
Restful activities are only restful if we let our brains unwind as well as our bodies.
And that can be harder said than done, right?
I’m convinced that we are better friends/ daughters/ mothers/ sisters/ colleagues when we’ve taken some time to recharge.
So what might this look like when the demands of life are piling up?
Here are some ways you can find rest in a busy season…
- Date yourself- I’m not really one for sitting in public alone (it’s a strange insecurity and I’m working on it) but taking time to wander around some charity shops, or grab a coffee and doodle for half an hour or so can be really peaceful. With no one to talk to, there’s more room to let our brains wander and can be a chance to create something we might not otherwise. Introvert time is important from time to time.
- Get creative- I think we often fall into the trap of creating with the finished product in mind but taking some time to paint, letter or play an instrument just for fun is really rewarding. Why not consider taking a class in a new craft? Or if you don’t have time, Youtube has loads of tutorials that you can watch from the comfort of your own home.
- Get walking- This one is dependent on where you live, but if there’s a park or beach nearby, getting fresh air will leave you feeling energised and ready to tackle your to-do’s. Going on walks with friends is one of my favourite activities, it’s a restful way to connect and better yet, it’s free!
- Create a bedtime routine- Even in the busiest of times, the hour before I go to sleep tends to be the least productive. Do you find you end up either watching Netflix or scrolling through insta? If you struggle to find rest during the day, why not use this time at the end of the day to relax with a candle, a soothing hot drink and a good book. Give your eyes a break from screens and let yourself unwind- you’ll sleep better and feel more refreshed the next morning.
If life’s feeling overwhelming right not, please know that you deserve some time to rest and guilt-free relaxing is more of an attitude than an action.
Repeat after me
‘I’m not weak if I need to spend this evening under a duvet instead of out socialising.
I’m not a failure if I don’t make it to the gym today because my body is tired and achey.
It’s ok to not be productive every minute of the day.
I’m a human.
I’m doing my best’
How do you find time to rest and what activity do you find more restful?
Let’s continue on the conversation in the comments below or over on insta (You can find me here @ellascribbles)