10 Ways To Rest That Will Unlock Your Genius
You know that feeling: you’ve been busy all week but don’t feel like you’ve accomplished what was important. The problem is, you don’t even know what is important.
Recently, I’ve learned the importance of rest. When I first started creating again, on top of my jobs, I got ruthless with my calendar. I loved the feeling of knowing that I was going to accomplish more each day. Within two weeks thought, I could feel something needed to change. I felt like I was always working. My mind was always churning and I felt drained.
Back to the drawing board.
As I looked over my multi-coloured calendar, I realized that I schedule all of my work time and to-do’s, but I didn’t schedule my rest time! It wasn’t that I didn’t give myself time to rest, but my schedule was a signal to my brain! Whatever I put in my schedule was my primary aim in that block. I started to schedule in R&R, coloured it blue in my calendar and I could instantly breathe deeper. Now, every week, I make sure that I schedule a a few evenings a week and a generous chunk on the weekend purely for rest.
Rest is essential to creativity and productivity. We cannot produce more, if we don’t give ourselves chance to recalibrate and “tidy up” the output from the previous production period.
Here’s how to incorporate more Rest in your life:
Give yourself to permission to slow down.
Do not feel guilty about resting! The highest achievers and world-class atheletes know that rest is the counterbalance to extreme results. Nowadays, if I see someone pushing their limits and it’s a rest day for me, I don’t feel guilty at all. I’m running my own race at my own pace.
Learn To Meditate.
It’s about taking back your ability to self-aware and conscious of your own thoughts. It also helps build your concentration muscles so that you can stay focused during your productive hours. Meditation also does wonders for your brain, giving it chance to recalibrate and rest. All of the notifications and content we absorb can lead to information overload and meditation trains you to keep your centre even when the thoughts are running in overdrive.
Activate different senses.
Because I work on a computer a lot, I love playing the piano or making things with my hands (that don’t involve a keyboard, phone or a mouse). If I’m using mind a lot, I know I need to do something with my body. This is active rest, but it is still resting the aspect of myself that is getting exerted. To explore this form of rest deeper, look into mindfulness.
Allot time for personal reflection and integration.
This is especially helpful when something particularly drastic is on your radar, like a job change or new relationship. My practice is take chill-time with my journal to sort out all of my thoughts, feelings and opinions to find what is the right decision for me. This has allowed me to take big leaps in life because I’ve considered all of my options and consciously chosen my direction. How can you tell that you are reflecting vs. ranting or spinning in circles? You’ll have a deep sense of peace and growth, rather than anger, resentment or fear.
Schedule it! Rest is non-negotiable.
I know that If I don’t schedule blocks of rest, my fuse will reach it’s end. Even when I’m on a roll, I will deliberately do nothing “productive” at least one weekend evening per week, because that is time for me to decompress. It also gives me a chance to look forward to writing or producing the next day. I get a chance to look forward to doing what I love. The anticipation is fuel for the creative act.
Just because you’re adult, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! I take rest seriously! It must be serious fun! My purpose to smile, laugh, be grateful and recenter my perspective on the things that are most important. Personally, I’m a journey of laughing more. I tend to take things seriously and be very contemplative, so it’s very rejuvenating for me to stop thinking and just play.
Turn off all your devices and get out of a wifi zone.
As someone who spend a LOT of time on my screens, I consciously spend time away from my devices. Sometimes, I don’t even take my phone off airplane mode until 3pm.
Go into nature.
Wherever the trees grow. Birds chirp, dogs run free. And humans run free. GO in that direction. and keep going until the traffic is only a distant din… until it finally dissolves into the sound of Nature’s silence.
For for 10 minute walk.
Don’t think about it, just make it habit. Everyday, rain or shine, I’ll go out for walk around lunch time. I find that if I don’t, my afternoon work time is useless. I won’t think as clearly. I’ll feel sluggish and the afternoon gets wasted. The fresh air wakes up my brain and gets my blood flowing. Now, I don’t even think about it. Lunch, then walk.
Sit in one spot for an hour.
Sit in a spot that is not an office or a coffee shops or a couch in front of a screen. This one is about stillness. Something happens to our cells when we stop moving. Literally, don’t move. I’m sure there is neurologist somewhere that could tell me what physical stillness does to my brain, i just intuitively sense that I always feel better rested when I stay up. 🙂