Rest As Exercise by Stephanie Nickel
Exercise for the mind, that is.
I am filing in for our church administrator while she’s on maternity leave—and trying to juggle my other responsibilities as well. It’s not easy. While I seek to make headway on my To Do list, I must remember to rest.
Here are nine pointers I find helpful.
Focus on the Now
If we’re always thinking about the next thing on our To Do list (or the next ten things), we’ll become frazzled and won’t be able to do the task at hand to the best of our ability. After all, we only have the Now, right this moment.
Make a List and Check It Often
Once we get into the habit of making To Do lists and checking them regularly, we needn’t worry about forgetting important tasks because of the dozens of other things we have on the go. Plus, we don’t actively have to think about what we need to do next if we know it’s written down. We can use our mental faculties to focus on the task at hand.
Each of us can only accomplish so much on any given day. Before we take on anything new, we have to ask ourselves if we can realistically fit it into our schedule without sacrificing downtime.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Repeat after me … “I don’t have to measure up to someone else’s unrealistic expectations—or my own.” “I am not a failure if I don’t cross off everything on my To Do list every day—or any day.” “God created me to need rest, and He knows what He’s doing.”
Take a Power Nap
It turns out naps aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, there seem to be several reasons to “power nap.” While many nights I could crawl into bed around 7:00, I find if I get up and at ’em after a brief nap—usually while trying to watch a TV show with my hubby—I can work past my grogginess and get a fair amount done before heading to bed at a reasonable hour.
Take a Lunch Break—If Only a Short One
I’m trying to talk myself into setting work aside while I eat lunch. I sit at my desk and answer the phone if it rings, but other than that, I figure I can take 10-15 minutes to eat. In fact, no-one would object if I took even longer than that.
Explain Your Situation
When someone asks you to take on something extra, it’s important to remember that no isn’t a bad word. And at times, it can be a sanity saver. While there are some unreasonable individuals, many will understand if you explain you simply can’t add anything more to your To Do list.
Plan a Special Getaway
I have been meeting with the members of Women Writing for Christ for over a decade and this year we are planning our first ever writers’ retreat. We’re heading to a cottage in Grand Bend for the last weekend in April. We’re getting the place for a great deal. And one of my fellow writers is selling me a mini laptop she no longer uses so I can have a word processor. (My hand may give out if I try to go old school from Thursday through Sunday.) What special getaway could you look forward to?
Take a Deep Breath and Give Thanks
And even if you can’t get away, you can close your eyes, take a deep breath, and thank the Lord for His many blessings. Take one deep breath for every heartfelt offering of thanks. A few of these breaks throughout the day will work wonders—and draw you closer to the Lord. Nothing’s better than that.