The Wisdom of Rest and Relaxation

Hello and happy Monday before Christmas! I hope you aren’t too stressed with all the planning, prepping, and present shopping. This time of year can be hard to get through, especially if you have to get up and get to work too. Some of you might be ready to give up, you might be wishing it was all over and done with already, but I want you to remember: This Monday is like any other, a time to reset and restart. Try to enjoy the day and think of it as a chance to get motivated and get stuff done.

For my this Monday is the first of my Holiday break, but I have chosen to come in and get in a few hours of pay a day. I know that sounds pretty dumb, but I couldn’t justify that much time off doing nothing. I felt the best use of my time was to commit to something that forces me to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. This way I won’t fall into the trap of lounging around in my PJs while lying to myself saying I was going to “get so much done”.

I know myself pretty well and without some structure, I will get lazy very quickly.

I did, however, decide that I would only work half days. This way I still get in that time to relax and let go of all the stress work has put on me.

We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.

// Thich Nhat Hanh

I intend to really rest too. I haven’t made a ton of plans to work on writing or art, not unless I really want to, but instead gave myself permission to do nothing without worry. I give myself permission to watch movies on Netflix and to scroll Facebook and Twitter to my heart’s content. I give myself permission to read books and take long showers. I give myself permission to stay up late and take naps if I want to. I give myself permission to let go of the idea that I must always be “getting shit done”.

It feels strange to say I am going to do nothing. Resting seems  almost un-American. Resting is just laziness by another name. Resting is something to be ashamed of, right?

Resting means losing track of your good habits and gaining bad ones. Resting means making no progress and possibly falling behind. Resting means contributing nothing, letting things fall apart, and being generally selfish.

But maybe not. I think resting is a very important part of self-care. Resting means letting my mind and body heal and be happy so that I can come back fighting. Resting means trying different things, things I didn’t have time for when I was Getting Shit Done. Resting means discovery and enjoyment, and the carefree life we all wish we could return to. Resting is for reflection and taking stock of the work you do and how you do it.

I think resting, if done in the right way, can be very beneficial to the human heart and what better time to do it than before the start of a whole new year of productivity and goal achievement.

So even though the holidays are all about the hustle and bustle and going here and there, even though you still have to go to work and get some shit done, try to find time to rest up and recover from the year you have had before you jump into starting a new one. The R and R will do you good, I promise.


One Reply to “The Wisdom of Rest and Relaxation”

  1. Lucky for me, old enough not to be working. Meditating on a slow morning today, thinking that September to December is a “spiritual period” for me, and so is March/April. (Sort of Christmas/Easter periods,) I have, however, left a lot of my Christian roots behind, studied Buddhism in the nineties, became a Boddhisattva devotee, and journeyed forward. But my seasons of the spirit make me frustrated at the materialism AND the dogmatic “redeemer” claimed to be a solution that in my opinion is no longer a workable premise. It looks obvious that people aren’t being “saved” and Nirvana is just a rock group associated with suicide. Reading up on Quakers places me squarely with “peculiar” people, Proposing spiritual growth in 2016 above 3%, just my way of moving from economics into some measurements, how much ego-deflation? How much compassion? No measures of these ever mentioned in mainstream media, as if the material world defines ALL reality. I know different, and I get angry about the locked out facts of spiritual life the “people of the world” want to deny. You can preach godless theories, but sooner or later, spirit will call you.


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