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8 Ways to Rest Powerfully: Yes! You need it.

I’m willing to bet you’ve never looked at resting quite like this! Let me first admit I used to avoid resting at all costs, and it cost me big time. In many ways, I’m still recovering from all the years I lived believing resting was for slackers. Now, I feel like I’ve figured out how to maximize resting and I’ve found that wonderful middle ground between turning all the way off all the time and never sleeping. There are so many ways to rest powerfully and I believe we need to master them all. Here’s to the best rest you’ve gotten in ages!

1. The Full on Unplug: Intentional, active resting. This is what we tend to think of first when we say “resting.” It’s so good to totally unplug, veg out and do nothing in your favorite pjs or lounge wear. We need it. For those of us powered to go at full-speed 100% of the time, we’ll have to actually work at it, but the practice will be worth it. Just like your phone can get too much juice and needs to be unplugged from the charger, we need to protect our wires from being fried.

2. Pick a day every month to fully unplug: literally from all sockets and digital devices, and mentally from obligations, work, and maybe even people, if at all possible. Also, try not talking as much, while you’re at it. Write your Unplug Day in your calendar and do your best to stick to it.

3. Mentally resting while physically moving: Did you know you can keep it moving and still rest? This type of rest has to do more with inner peace. It’s when we intentionally turn a part of ourselves off even though the rest of us has to keep moving forward. For instance, let’s say you have to work, but you have a pressing personal problem going on outside of the office. Master the art of laying that problem aside from 9-5. Try not giving any mental energy to that situation for now, while you should be focused elsewhere. The reality is probably that you cannot do anything about that situation anyway while you’re away from it, so why carry it around mentally? In this way, resting is like pausing something until you can better tend to it.


4. Expectant resting: This is something we do in place of anxiety. You’ve done all you can, like having applied for the job, told someone how you feel in your relationship, designed a proposal and are awaiting feedback and normally, you’d fret about it until you get a response. Instead, you hand over the situation to whatever the future outcome will be and you rest in expectancy, knowing you’ve done your best. Instead of worrying about how things will turn out, you expect things to either turn in your favor or you know in advance that you will be able to deal with whatever the outcome is, but you continue on with your life. In my coaching practice, we call this not marrying any outcomes. We stay single so we can properly receive what the outcome will be.

Sleep is your Superpower. Since kindergarten, I have hated naps and bedtime. They always felt like interruptions to my productivity. But in the last 4-5 years I’ve taught myself to be expectant about sleep, and what I’ve found is that sleep has become a superpower for me. When we are expectant about sleep, sleep delivers! Not only as a source of physical replenishing, but your mind resets and works on problems without your help. Often, I wake up with answers I didn’t have before I went to sleep. I also believe that sleep is when God communicates with us through visions, dreams, sometimes warnings, and often guidance. Before you go to sleep, place a notepad by your bedside and write down some questions you have. Expect to get answers during sleep and watch what happens. When you awaken, write down what you’ve discovered!

5. Physical Body Resting: Even for all my fitness junkies, your body needs a break. Nobody says you have to indulge, or be unhealthy, but give your body time to refuel and replenish. Even something as simple as switching to a gentler, lower-impact form of exercise for a week or two can give your body the breathing room it needs to restore. Swap out boot camp for pilates (which is also not for the faint of heart), or a stretching class instead of plyo. The added benefit is you get your brain firing in new directions with something unexpected. It’s a win-win.

6. Relaxing Rituals: Can you say “at home-spa?!” Sundays are my days for a good Sunday Soak! That’s when the master bathroom is off limits to interrupting 8 year-olds and my tub is filled to the brim with oils and my soy candles are blazing. For maybe as much as an hour and a half, mommy is out of sight and out of mind. Just looking forward to this ritual relaxes me, as early as on Friday. It’s a retreat my body and mind look forward to and it makes pushing through some of the tougher patches during the week that much more bearable. Discover a ritual that you can look forward to and be disciplined about keeping it.

7. “Away” Status: My team uses Slack and I love that I can set my status to “away.” The thing is, sometimes I’m still reading the notifications as they come in, but what I’ve done is rid myself of the obligation to respond immediately. I’ve also managed the expectation of my team where my availability is concerned for the day, and I have rid myself of guilt in advance for my slow response. Much of our tiredness comes from the obligations we bear, some unnecessarily so. You can set yourself to “away” in any setting, you just have to make the declaration. It’s much better than ghosting people and having them wonder what the heck happened. Claiming “away” is the more responsible way to reclaim your time, refocus, and reset for the people who need you.

8. Withdrawal as resting: So, this is the ultimate “away” status. Actually, go away by yourself to withdraw and re-calibrate. I do this from time to time, take myself on work retreats all by myself. Often, I get more work done in 48 hours than I do in a week. Productivity helps me realign and feel sane and in control. It may be something else for you, and that’s okay. I used to feel so selfish as a mom and wife when I did this, but then I realized I was even better in both categories when I got back. Now, my husband tells me, “Sweetie, I think it’s time for you to go away!” He’s almost always right when he makes that suggestion. Hint: I like a good 5-star retreat, but guess what? Your guest room in your house will do. Sometimes, I take prayer weekends in my guest room, or meditation and worship sessions for an hour or two in my closet. Whatever works and whatever gets you alone to remember who you are and why you’re here. You’ll leave feeling renewed and with a reignited sense of joy and peace.


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