The Creative Life

How to truly rest (and not just avoid life)

How to truly rest (and not just avoid life) / via #restwithintent

Do you truly know the difference between intentional rest and just ‘avoiding life’?

We’re all busy, and being busy can be great – we’re all working hard towards our goals, being super-efficient with every spare minute of our day and ticking boxes. Look at us go! We’ve achieved so much and come so far. We definitely should be proud of our achievements.

But you gotta admit, being busy can sometimes be seen as some sort of ‘badge of honour’ in our society, as though if we weren’t busy, somehow we’re not trying hard enough, or as hard as the others who survive on minimal sleep and have fifteen thousand things on the go at once. Oh dear! That’s not really fair, or healthy, is it? Nope.

Think of it this way:
You’re out and about, and you’ve taken your phone so you can take photos, text your friends, send snaps of your adventures and put that awesome shot of your coffee on Instagram. But, shock horror! Your phone’s battery has gone flat! Sure, it has an awesome camera and the latest apps and your grocery list stored in your notes, but what use is it if the battery is flat!? Yep – you guessed what I’m getting at .. the same goes for YOU, darling.

Running on empty is no good for you, your goals, or the person standing nearest to you (!!). How can you expect to give your best, when you have nothing left to give? Rest is so important. We were designed to rest, otherwise we wouldn’t need to sleep every night. But the type of rest I want to talk about is the relaxation time you think you’re giving yourself, when in fact you might just be avoiding life. I’m talking about resting with intent.

So how can you tell the difference? True rest with intent leaves you feeling refreshed and energised. 

True rest with intent leaves you feeling refreshed and energised. #restwithintent Click To Tweet

It’s common to just flop onto the couch, scan your feeds and play some Candy Crush or catch an episode of your favourite show – yep, I do all these too, but mostly these sorts of things merely help us to avoid stress and distract us for a short time before that busy schedule is staring us in the face again. Make sure the activities you choose to do for rest and relaxation actually leave you feeling refreshed and energised.

Things such as:

  • Making a date with yourself without being interrupted.
    Let others know that they are not to interrupt you. Get a babysitter. Close the door. Whatever you need to do and know that you have a dedicated amount of time that you can really focus and get into the flow of whatever you choose: sketching, reading, meditating, etc.
  • Exercise.
    Not physical rest, no, and this one isn’t true rest for some. But for me, it’s king of true rest. I always feel amazing after a workout, bursting with energy and sky-high endorphins.
  • A quality, meaningful conversation
    (No phones or similar distractions allowed) – with a friend or your partner. A chance to clear your mind verbally.
  • A brain-dump session.
    (A what?) I actually do this at least once a day. On paper (and only on paper), I just get everything out. Everything that comes into my head – whether it’s the item I forgot to order in the groceries this week, that email I still haven’t replied to, work, chores or ideas I have. Scribbles and doodles encouraged. Some people find this especially helpful to clear their minds just before they go to sleep, if they have trouble ‘switching off’.
  • A hot bath, shower, pampering session, manicure, massage, seaweed wrap – whatever floats your boat.
    Heck, book a weekend retreat at a spa if that’s what you desperately need! (Wouldn’t we all love that!)
  • Watching the clouds
    Or, if it’s a rainy day, having a cup of tea by the window with a blanket.

Anyway, you get the idea. It’s personal to everyone, just remember the key difference and make sure you choose an activity that will leave you feeling truly energised.

Lastly, you need to complement your #restwithintent sessions with these three things:

  • Make it a regular thing.
    Once a week, once a day – whatever frequency suits you, stick with it. 
  • Plan it.
    Book it into your calendar and make it a priority. It’s not negotiable – you are unavailable.
  • Get enough sleep.
    Plain and simple.

So what’s it gonna be guys?
I’d love to see some #restwithintent hastags happening on social media to encourage each other to take a break!


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  • I love this post! I think one of the only ways we can truly give ourselves a break these days is to step away from the electronics. We need a break from the constant information people are sharing with us online.

    • Yes, that is so true! Switch off and recharge. Especially as a daily habit before bed to ensure a good night’s rest. Thanks for your comment – you have a lovely blog!!