But rest is essential for protecting our physical, mental, and emotional health. If slowing down is hard for you, try following these tips for incorporating more rest into your life.
Create Healthy Boundaries
As we said, one of the biggest things standing in the way of our rest is the idea that we should be productive all the time. Because of that, we take on extra hours at work and say yes to more commitments, even at the expense of rest.
It’s good to take an internal inventory of how much work you can do before you need to rest. Remember, this doesn’t mean “until your physical and mental health is in jeopardy.” From there, set up boundaries. This can be a time of day you refuse to answer work emails or days that you don’t take on extra commitments.
Be Intentional About Rest
You can carve out an extended time to stop working and still feel less-than-rested. That’s because it isn’t just about how many hours you have to rest, but the quality of rest. And the key to quality is intentionality with your resting time.
Here are a few ways to increase the intentionality if your rest:
- Find restful activities
- Don’t attempt to multitask
- Be fully present at the moment
- Focus on shorter bursts of rest
- Spend time with those around you
This isn’t to say you should stress yourself out about finding “the correct way to rest.” The point is to fully immerse yourself in periods of rest, whatever they look like.
Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
You can apply the same idea to your sleep. Many of us don’t sleep enough, and the hours we do get aren’t quality sleep. Along with prioritizing sleeping even a half-hour to an hour more, try adding this to your schedule:
- Have consistent bedtimes and wake times
- Avoid eating large meals right before bed
- Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine right before bed
- Try to incorporate physical activity into your day
- Get outside during the day, especially at the beginning
It’s also helpful to create an ideal environment for sleep. This means reserving your room and your bed for sleep.
Permit Yourself To Treat Yourself
Most rest happens in quiet moments during the day—those quiet moments in the morning you reserve for prayer, meditation, or journaling, or the hour you spend with your kids after work.
But don’t be afraid to treat yourself from time to time; it’s one of the best tips for incorporating more rest into your life. Stopping to do something you love, like stopping by your favorite bakery or spa, can help you rejuvenate yourself.