9 Tips to Finding Rest

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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.

Be Realistic

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.


Take a break, stay focused, rest your mind. (tweet this)


Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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8 thoughts on “9 Tips to Finding Rest

  1. Have you read The Radical Pursuit of Rest by John Koessler? This book has so much wisdom about rest without making “rest” one more thing on my do-list! Here’s a link to my review if you want to check it out: https://michelemorin.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/rest-a-remedy-a-relief-and-a-gift/

    I thought that your suggestions were great — and I guess I need to take your advice in a lot of areas!
    Thanks, and best wishes in your new role.

  2. These are great tips, Stephanie! Some of them I do pretty well, but others I need to keep as reminders. I echo a recommendation from Michele about John Koessler’s book, The Radical Pursuit of Rest. I am reading it now as a result of her excellent review and it is powerful. Happy to be visiting as your neighbor at the Linkup at Growing Through God’s Word.

  3. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. If my To Be Read pile wasn’t already so high, I might just have to add Koessler’s book. Hope you’re having a restful week. TTFN

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