Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember that there was always something to do. The only thing I associated rest with was going to bed at night. Being busy was a way of life and it was the norm for most of us. From my grade school years all the way to graduate school, busy was a way of life. It was considered cool and very attractive to be a high-level corporate executive with a busy schedule, flying in and out of town all the time, constantly sitting in meetings, and squeezing in whatever time there was left over for a trip to the gym, salon, or a night out with friends.
As we get older, and hopefully, wiser, we realize that being busy is not a healthy way to live. It can be difficult to see or experience the joy of having peace and rest when there was so much noise and activity swirling around us from day to day. You can spend as little as 5 minutes on social media and find something that promotes being a hustler or too busy. While we all go through those seasons of grind and hard work, we should be wise to not allow being a hustler or too busy become a part of our brand or motto.
In today’s modern culture, embracing rest is more common and especially in the women of faith community rest is not only common, but it is expected and respected. And while it is something that most women treasure, rest is still a difficult path for many women to embrace because of what it requires of us. Rest is not and should not be difficult thing to do if we know how to respond when rest comes knocking at our door.
Women who are driven and led by their faith should embrace rest and invite it into their lives rather than resist the season that God is bringing us into. Since we don’t know what lies ahead, we have to get to a place where we can put down our agenda and willfully accept what God is allowing to take place in our lives.
It’s inevitable that everyone will encounter a season when they have to lose the hustle and grind of daily life and slow down. Our response to this change should be an act of faith knowing it’s what we need in our lives at that time. When you find yourself entering into this new season, here are a few things you can do embrace and enjoy your time of rest:
Recognize when you are in a season of rest.
Life happens to everyone and sometimes these seasons can come at the most inopportune moment. Sometimes it comes in the form of illness, lack of motivation, energy take time to think about your habits, routine, schedule, and the effects of your activities on your health, home, and work. When we work against the currents of rest, the results of our activities can be counterproductive. You may find yourself feeling frustrated, impatient, and anxious. These feelings can cause you to feel like you have to do more to achieve that feeling of accomplishment, but rather than doing more, ask yourself why do you feel frustrated, impatient, or anxious. These feelings can have a negative impact on how we relate to others as well as our personal relationship with God because of the need to be in control. It’s best to just let go, reflect on what is going on in your life, and let faith be your guide.
Define Your Season of Rest
There’s no one way to define how you will embrace rest. It’s up to you to make it work for you in the best way possible. If you’ve over-committed yourself to your work and others, then give yourself permission to say no and limit your activities to what’s most important.
Protect your rest boundaries with grace and wisdom. Instead of becoming frustrated with your boundaries, give yourself the grace to stay inside your boundaries and know that it is ok. Whether you choose to say yes or no to something, try to keep it inside your boundaries of grace. If you find yourself feeling guilty about the choice you have made, then ask yourself if you’ve given yourself permission and grace to choose what you did and if you’re respecting your boundaries of rest. Guilt never comes in to bring us joy. Guilt tries to rob us off what we need most but are too intimidated to choose it for ourselves.
Defining your season of rest means you are choosing what you need most in your life without feeling guilty or the need to please others or be validated by others.
Stick to the Essentials
Embracing rest doesn’t mean you come to a point of complete inactivity because life still goes on. Focus on tasks that are absolutely essential and will not cause you to forfeit the benefits of your rest. Reevaluate your priorities and ask yourself if it has to be done today or can be dealt with at a later time.
Keep in mind that your priority list should decrease so that you can make space for rest which should be your number 1 priority.
Create an atmosphere of rest
When you create an atmosphere of rest, you trigger your mind to adapt to your environment. This could be resisting the urge to watch television or Netflix or turning off your social media notifications. It could also mean doing the opposite like deciding to treat yourself to take out rather than cook, watch a relaxing movie, pampering yourself, or reading a good book.
Set boundaries in your atmosphere and stick to them. As busy women, our natural tendency is to fight against slowing down and doing less. So be intentional and give yourself permission to do less without guilt so that you can be more, create more, and achieve more in the end.
Embrace a Rest Mindset
Rest is mindset because that is where it all begins. Recognizing your season of rest, creating the right atmosphere to embrace rest, defining your boundaries, and giving yourself permission to do so. Embracing a rest mindset is not an indication laziness or lack of motivation, but a time to prepare yourself for greatness that is coming your way. Sometimes you have to slow down in order to go faster. Take time to refuel your creativity, your passion, and reconnect with your purpose.
Nurture your mind, soul, and spirit
During your season of rest, simply get more rest. Psalms 127:2 tells us, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” Going to bed earlier is one of the best things we can do. It recharges our mind, soul, and spirit and prepares us for the next day.
Spend time journaling, reading, and reflecting. This helps to broaden your thinking, develop a new perspective on your life and activities, and fosters healthy response to what you’ve learned about yourself and your relationships.
Ignore Comparison and Self-Rejection
Do not sabotage your season of rest with comparison and self-rejection. Quickly dismiss the negative thoughts that you’re not as creative, gifted, purpose-driven, or simply good enough to do what you’re doing. Everyone goes through the ebbs and flows of life and business. What you see on your social feeds is not always a true representation of what goes on behind the scenes. Appreciate where you are and focus on moving forward rather than looking back at what others are doing.
Take it one day at a time and savor everything you have learned, what you have become, and be ready to share your positive experience with others. When your season of rest comes to an end, you’ll have a deep appreciation and greater value for what you do, how you show up in your relationships and your business. Your sense of self-awareness and spiritual relationship will be deeper and more enjoyable. When you retire from your rest, be ready to show up and be present in all your endeavors.
I created a guide to help you get through your season of rest. Sometimes you have to slow down the hustle and take time to rest. The guide will help you create a manifesto for your rest so you can protect and savor your season.