No one needs a guide to rest and rejuvenation, after all, it’s a human need, it’s something we’re born knowing how to get. The problem is that mounting to-do lists and too many commitments leave little opportunity. For mums, there’s double the workload and societal pressure to always step up as the beaming and enthusiastic parent. How do you go about cultivating a life that gives you the opportunity for rest? Here are my top four tips.
TACKLE YOUR INNER DIALOGUE
Do you believe rest is something you earn? It isn’t. Rest is earned simply by being needed. In a society where we are taught to endure so that we can enjoy leisure time, more endurance is seen as more prestigious. The truth is that you can have all the opportunity in the world to rest, but if your inner dialogue around what you deserve isn’t positive, you will always find a reason to be busy. Start becoming aware of how you cut yourself off from your needs and use them as motivators.
LOOK AT YOUR SCHEDULE
If you’re a high performing individual that works on schedules, use this method to ensure you also get rest by scheduling rest time. Look at your weekly schedule and decide what kind of rest is possible for you. It might be an hour in the evening, 20 minutes mid-morning, or even four 15-minute rests throughout the day. The trick lies in getting into the mindset of deserving rest. By honouring each rest break you set for yourself, you’re training your brain to allow rest for itself and soon you’ll be able to identify larger opportunities for breaks. View your workday as successful if you managed to slot in and honour your rest breaks.
CHANGE HOW YOU DEFINE “REST”
There are different types of rest and only you can decide which you most need. There’s leisure time, self-care, and sleep. Rest means something different to everyone but what it aims to achieve is to give your brain and your body a complete escape from self-discipline and trying to stay in productivity mode. You don’t have to nap or take a walk. For some people, a break means a hard game on a squash court or a quiet cappuccino in a coffee shop where no one can find you. Decide what your body needs from you and strive to give yourself time to take in exactly that kind of rest.
REMOVE DISTRACTIONS TO PRODUCTIVITY AND REST
Make the most of your productive and rest time by removing distractions and scheduling time into your day to deal with those tasks. What I am talking about here is emails and any other apps that have pop-ups to notify you of the most recent activity. When a pop-up appears it is a natural instinct to take a look stealing precious minutes from your workday. Also, set up filters for your email inbox. It is amazing how many regular emails don’t require attention in a workday. Filter these emails so that they aren’t taking up valuable space in your inbox and mind. Set aside a few minutes each day to skim your filtered emails to make sure you’re not missing an important update and delete the rest (this can be life changing!).
TRAIN THOSE AROUND YOU TO RESPECT YOUR REST
We all know how it goes when mum wants to have a rest. She closes the bedroom door only to find a small gathering of pets and children waiting outside for her. At work, if you’re the boss, you may come into the office late and find members of every department waiting with urgent requests. When people are used to depending on you, it can be difficult to shift that responsibility. In the workplace, it is worth hiring someone to handle that responsibility or adding more authority to the department leaders so that they can make decisions without depending on you.