Ah, rest. That beautiful time when you recharge you batteries, take time for you, and find your happy place.
That’s a real thing?
I found out I was pregnant just about 5 years ago, which means it’s been about that long since I’ve truly relaxed. Pregnancy brought out the paranoia in me.
One of the fabulous things about your child growing older is that they become more independent. And their independence means more time for Mommy (and Daddy).
But rest is important even when – I’d say especially when – kids are young.
How do you rest?
Not everyone rests in the same way, so there’s no prescription for how to do it. There’s not even a “right” amount of time to rest.
Rest doesn’t have to be stillness. It can be anything that brings you back to center, relaxes you, and rejuvenates you. A friend of mine relaxes by running. My sister gets lost in a book. I write.
The key is to find what relaxes you, not what you think should relax you. Rest isn’t something on your to-do list, it’s something you don’t have to put on a list, because you can’t wait to do it. So if exercise is something you do because you have to, it’s not your rest.
Where do you rest?
I am a homebody. My home is the most comfortable place for me, so that’s where I find the most rest. Mr. O loves nature. He loves to run in local parks and finds his energy there.
Your rest should take place in a place that will help you relax. Your desk is a bad idea. You’re in-law’s house – probably not. The doctor’s office? Ummm, no. Find someplace where you feel like you.
When do you rest?
As I said above, rest is something we don’t need to schedule because we can’t wait to do it. But how many times have you meant to go to Zumba, but something else came up? How often have you done laundry instead of reading that book?
You have to schedule your rest. Yes, I know that’s weird. It sounds about as normal as scheduling sex, but it works.
Maybe it’s 15 minutes after your little one goes down for a nap. Maybe it’s a scheduled quiet time once your kids stop napping. Maybe it’s indulging in a favorite tv show as a family, or in the solitude of your room. Handing over the kids to your husband so you can go to the gym, or coffee with friends, or a walk around the neighborhood by yourself.
Why do you rest?
Rest can sometimes feel selfish, especially to parents. There is always something that needs to be done, someone that needs help.
The thing is, that never goes away. The laundry doesn’t end. The house will need to be cleaned again tomorrow. And your family insists on eating every day. If you don’t make time for yourself, you will never have time for yourself.
Think of how you feel and act when you’re burnt out. You’re short tempered. You’re quick to anger. You don’t think as clearly. You’re tired. You’re cranky. You’re most definitely not the best mother, wife, or person you can be.
I know that when I am stretched too thin I tend to make more convenience foods, bow out of playing with my daughter, and use the tv as a babysitter.
What are you missing out on because you’re not taking time to recharge you batteries?
Assignment: Plan out time to rest every day. Consider how, when, and where you rest best. If needed, add your rest to your calendar.
Next week: Never Stop Learning