I like to be on the move. I prefer my days to be filled with activity and productivity. But during this season of my life, I am learning to embrace rest. In truth, I’m trying to learn to embrace rest. After taking some self reflection I have realized that I don’t like to rest. My nature sways towards “doing” and “not doing” feels uncomfortable. While I’m “resting” I think of all the things I could be doing and, therefore, my rest is filled with anxious anticipation for it to be over. Absolutely counterproductive for rest! Therefore one of my personal goals for 2016 is to develop a comfortable rhythm of rest.
I was created to be one of those crazy folks who loves to exercise. The endorphin rush of a great run or a sweaty hot yoga class is my drug of choice. Lifting weights in my basement at 6am while the rest of the family sleeps is one of my favorite parts of the day. Crazy but true. Thanks to the great big blogging world I have found so many other women around the country who feel the same way! Another commonality between many of us? The hate of our dreaded rest days. Personally, my rest days often become “how many calories can I consume in these 24 hours?”. I find myself standing in front of the pantry snacking on half stale Wheat Thins and chunky peanut butter.
The part of my brain that remembers back to Anatomy and Physiology can articulate the necessity of rest days. Our bodies need time to rebuild, tiny muscle tears need to heal. I get that but, but as a creature of habit, rest days also throw off my routine. Until I realized that I needed to create a routine for my rest days. Using the day to tackle another aspect of self care other than exercise. This morning, I chose to take a bath! I put the big kids on the bus at 9am, sat the littles in front of the TV (Big thanks Disney Jr!) and filled my tub with the epsom soak I received in my Firebox. As I soaked, I listened to Kundalini radio on Spotify, put on one of the face masks I’ve been collecting from my Ipsy bags, and read my newest favorite book, Let Your Life Speak. In those 30 minutes, I embraced every second of rest. And it was amazing.
I also had an opportunity to think of some other ways to spend my rest days.
Meeting a friend for coffee
I may really get into this rest day thing!
And my secret trick to keep myself out of the pantry?? Skinny jeans! No more lounging around on my rest days in pajama pants.
Embracing rest also ties into another one of my goals for 2016- establishing a Sabbath routine for my family. During nursing school at Columbia University, I met many women who belonged to the Orthodox Jewish community and practiced shabbat every week. Shabbat was their day of rest, a day filled with family, good food, religious services and quiet reflection. While my religious beliefs differed from theirs, I always thought of their shabbat as a beautiful ritual.
Late in 2015, my husband and I started talking about incorporating a sabbath into our family routine. A day to unplug from the world and focus on our family without the distraction of errands or electronics. Our little country house has become a place of quiet, family fun, and rest. Throughout 2016 we will be working on growing our sabbath practice. Teaching our children from an early age not to follow in their mother’s footsteps of always “doing”. If you and your family practice a tradition such as shabbat or sabbath, I would love to hear about it!
How do you embrace rest?