I am challenging myself to write the hardest blog I have ever written, because I am HORRIBLE at sitting still, and frankly often give up at how to really take better care of myself. The concept of “resting” makes sense cognitively yet seems frivolous, unrealistic, and not constructive for my life. It sounds great, but REALLY? Who really rests? Laundry doesn’t do itself, dinner doesn’t cook itself, and the list goes on and on. So, for all the women out there, men too, grandparents, caretakers, and everyone else, here is my best attempt to summarize what barely seems to work, sometimes…
Be completely enthralled in a movie or Netflix show, and resist folding laundry from a basket or two at the same time.
Tip: Put on your plush robe, slippers, get some pillows from the bedroom and pile on the couch. Frankly, if there is no space around you, there is no place around you to fold laundry let alone fold “Marie Kondo” style socks and underpants for everyone!
- Sit outside with a cup of coffee or tea in early mornings, CLOSE YOUR EYES, LISTEN TO THE BIRDS. Count how many different types of bird calls you hear.
- Put on your headphones and listen to meditation music, Buddhist chants, or use an app like “CALM”. Set a timer, and for 20-30 minutes do nothing but breathe and listen. This one is hard, because usually the inner voice says your schedule doesn’t allow for such 20 minutes!
- Take a bath. It's usually hard to move around and multitask when submerged in water. Don’t even try to read, it will get the pages wrinkly and nasty. I hate a book with pages that won’t lay flat. Same with magazines.
- Get a pedicure. I don’t do it often, because, to me, it feels like an unnecessary extravagance and expense. Yet one is trapped and unable to really move or escape and must decide what to do for that hour. Reading works for me.
- Snuggle with a child—hold on tight! This one is easy, either on the couch, in their bed, or in your bed. Ask older children to read to you, and be prepared they will ask you to read to them. Best to convince them to keep reading so you can just relax and listen.
Find a great place outside, by the lake, a pond, an open trail, at a park, on a mountain top, someplace with a view of nature, any view, anywhere. Sit there. Having an open space to just look at, especially a green space, generally decreases the need to do something if you are truly taking in the beauty of the scenery.
- Yes, find a body of water, a pool, lake, river, or beach—just try to get to water. Anytime there is a body of water, humans seem to be pleased just to sit close to, next to, stare at, or sit in it.
- Sleep, nap, or just lay in bed. Light a candle or turn on a diffuser with your favorite scent. Focus on your breathing. You don’t have to sleep but lay there and think about how awesome it is you are simply resting and allowing your body and mind to stop the busyness that fills our lives, but is not always meaningful.
- Lay down outside under the stars (must be away from the city, tennis courts, street lights, soccer fields, tall buildings, etc.). Maybe in the backyard? Preferably not during hot humid summers, bug and mosquito filled nights, or in fire ant areas. Lay on a blanket and look up at the stars. If only I were a star...
How do you rest?