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We live in a world full of relentless activity.
It might be hard to notice the non-stop flow of your life until you’re forced to slow down or stop entirely.
A death in the family.
When the everyday busyness of our lives is taken away, life can feel disorienting and strange.
The world you knew suddenly stops and you’re confronted with the very things your busyness was designed to help you avoid.
Your emotions. Your mortality. Your vulnerability.
Your busy life can often feel overwhelming but confronting yourself can feel unbearable. However, in the midst of the unbearable you, quite by accident, find a moment of rest and peace.
You realize that your body, heart, and soul, have been yearning for rest. You’ve also discovered that when you allow yourself to rest, you have more physical and emotional energy to face the challenges of everyday life.
If you’ve experienced the benefits of life forcing you to rest, you may have wondered:
How do I find the time?
You have more time than you think
1. You only need short periods of rest.
You don’t need a week’s vacation in the Bahamas, though that would be nice. All you need are a few minutes, a couple times a day to simply stop, sit or lie down, and rest.
2. You’re likely wasting time on unnecessary and stressful activities
iOS Screen Time and Android Digital Wellbeing are easy ways to keep track of device usage.
According to my Screen Time, I spent nearly two hours on my phone today. I imagine if I did a full inventory of my day, I could find lots of time spent in idle activity rather than purposeful rest.
I’m guessing the same might be true for you.
Some simple ways to find rest
When you find yourself worked up, stressed out, or just feeling stuck, take a few deep breaths. Doing so will allow you to emotionally separate from the stressful event. The increased oxygen to your brain will also help you feel better and ready to tackle the problem with a better attitude or mindset.
2. Take your lunch breaks
In many workplaces, employees are granted a half-hour unpaid lunch period. My guess is that a good number of us work through our lunch periods. View your lunch period as an opportunity to rest in the middle of the day. Eat your lunch (without multitasking), do a meditation, or take a nap in the car. The options are endless.
3. Slow down
We go about our days with the unconscious belief that the goal of life is to be productive.
But what is that productivity serving? For too many of us, we pursue productivity for its own sake. We don’t question the value of this mindset and the harm it can cause in our lives.
Growing up, my parents were fond of the saying, “More haste, less speed.” I’ve certainly experienced the truth of this proverb many times in my life.
When I hurry, I tend to get less done and feel more stressed.
It takes a bit of faith to do it, but try slowing everything you do down.
Let each action you take be mindful and intentional. For example, instead of weaving through traffic at dangerous speeds on your drive to work, drive at or below the speed limit.
You’ll feel less stressed.
You’ll take delight in noticing things along your route you never noticed before.
Chances are you’ll still arrive on time without putting yourself or others at risk.
Build rest into your life
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of ways to find rest. You may have already come up with a bunch of other ideas.
Experiment with them and enjoy the benefits of a less stressful life while learning what works best for you.
You don’t have to wait for life to throw you a curve ball or force you to slow down.
Choose to live life in a slower lane, at least for a time. Trust that you will not fall behind. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you (and reward you) for it.