I am in a very busy season right now.
We are knee deep in remodeling our house, adding on an addition above our garage (follow along on Insta for daily updates) which means lots and lots of decisions, plus managing our normal every day life with three kids. I am realizing that when my head hits the pillow, instead of my body sinking deep into a restful slumber as it should from running around like a chicken with my head cut off, my mind is racing a million miles a minute still – plagued with so many design decisions and going over lists and lists of boxes that were left unchecked from the day that need to get accomplished the next day.
What I’ve realized though is that I need in order to combat the worry, stress and daily anxiety, I need to be intentional about my time of rest.
I’ve talked about rest plenty, and have so many thoughts about the importance of self-care and soul rest, but for now I want to talk about re-framing our ideas of how we rest as moms.
As if you need a reminder, but being a mom is quite literally the hardest job ever. I consider motherhood to be on the same level as like brain surgeons, except one just had to go to school longer than the other. 😉
When I think of rest, an empty, quiet house, my favorite playlist on in the background, fire burning and a good book come to mind. Weekends away to a quiet spa retreat with my husband also sound amazing. The reality though is that as much as I’ve championed for a mom vacation policy, those things aren’t always possible, and people (whom I do love) do actually live here in this house.
What I need more than a vacation is a mindset change.
Our mindset needs to shift from working toward regular getaways (that usually aren’t possible, especially for moms of littles!) into how to provide your mind, body, and soul rest in the everyday. What are things that you can do RIGHT NOW to give your body and soul rest, while still living your everyday life?
I believe wholeheartedly that body and soul are connected. Thus, we need to prioritize BOTH in order to feel rested, and one definitely plays into the other.
Here are two practical ways that I have found helped me to feel more rested in my everyday life, especially during seasons of extreme busy.
Practical Ways To Rest Everyday
CURRENT THOUGHT: If I can just make it to bedtime, that’s when I can breathe a sigh of relief and rest.
REALITY: Bedtime rolls around, and you shut the last door of your little one closer to YOUR bedtime, and instead of feeling refreshed and rested, you’re simply exhausted.
We need to shift our thinking that rest comes only at night time. After a full day of mothering, regardless of the intentions that I started the day with, when that last door of the littles close at night, I’m TOAST. Maybe you can relate? Your body doesn’t want to move, and instead you zone out watching a show or scroll through your phone. Trust me, I get it.
In my current season of motherhood, we no longer have tiny littles where the luxury of an early bedtime and them contained in the four walls of a crib allow us uninterrupted hours of blissful quiet downstairs. No, there are homework battles, extended bedtime routines, sick kids wandering downstairs all hours of the night it seems, and thus the house isn’t fully quiet until around 9pm. This leaves little to no time to rest in the evening anymore. My energy has been spent, the best of me has been given away throughout the day, and my good intentions to rest my body and mind in the evening no longer have any motivation to make it happen.
SOLUTION: Let yourself rest throughout the entire day.
As seasons in motherhood change, so does the way that we rest need to change. I no longer have the luxury of nighttime peace and quiet for long periods of time like I did in my early days of mothering. Therefore, I need to be allowing myself time and space to rest throughout the day. SO THAT when I hit the pillow at night I’m not ridden with anxiety about all of the things left undone during that particular day.
In order to rest during the day, you need to take the time to assess what rest looks like for you?
A vacation comes to mind for me. But being that that’s not always possible, what is something adjacent to a vacation that offer the same feelings of rest? Where in your life do you feel most like you?
Is it listening to music, taking a walk, opening the windows and reading a good book? Many people tell me their happy place is cooking or baking, which I look at them like they’re crazy, but then respond with the wisdom that my happy place is eating. 😉 We each are wired differently, so take the time to really ask yourself what are the things in your everyday life where you feel most like you? Where your brain has clarity and you feel like you are, as Emily P. Freeman says, “sitting down on the inside”? It’s really important to discover ways that your mind and body can rest without having to simply get away. Help yourself out by taking the time to find something that gives you rest during day time hours. Re-categorize rest in your mind as an overall way of life, not just something reserved for night time.
CURRENT THOUGHT: If I just had a few more hours in the day, then I could get done what I need to get done, and would be able to actually rest.
REALITY:You won’t rest unless you make rest a priority, regardless of the time available to you during the day.
You could have 47 hours in a day, and if you don’t allow yourself permission to not be productive and rest, then you will fill that time regardless of the quantity available
So I’ve shared this before, but I am a three on the Enneagram. If you aren’t sure what all this talk about Enneagram is, check out this resource because there’s way smarter people that talk in depth about it than me. But the basis of being a three is Achieving. I value productivity more than anything. So much so that I have a tendency to find my value and worth in the amount, and level of things, that I’m able to produce and achieve. Let me just tell you firsthand, that is a never-ending cycle. Our culture plays into this a ton too. Americans put a giant badge of honor on busyness and achievement. We also have ENDLESS gadgets at our fingertips now that allow our brains to ALWAYS be consuming knowledge, even if it’s mindless (hello Instagram). The problem is that scrolling through our phones has no end, similar to chasing our value and worth in achievement or productivity. I must reframe my mindset to understand that NOT being productive, and rather doing things that give me rest will actually in fact fill my heart with things that matter, and ultimately what will allow me to keep running the race – counter intuitive, I know. The truth is though that I am more joyful, easygoing, creative, and frankly good at what I do, when I am rested; NOT when I am aiming to only do and achieve.
SOLUTION: Block off times in order to allow yourself permission to not be productive
During specific times of the day, sometimes on the fly, sometimes during intentional periods that I have blocked off and reserved just for me (like actually on my calendar so that I actually do it), I stop multi-tasking.
I know, I know, women are supposed to be these amaze balls multi-taskers. And I think they ARE. But just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. At least when it comes to the discipline and art of rest.
This most practically looks like either NO SCREENs or only ONE SCREEN at a time. I feel like a child having to put that discipline in place, but holy moly I turn into just as much of a zombie when I mindlessly scroll as my kids do when they veg in front of the TV. Or how often do you catch yourself with a show on TV, and you’re scrolling on your computer or phone at the same time? Even if what you’re doing are good things, having multiple screens on in front of you actually adds to your feelings of unrest, instead of gives you rest. Disciplining yourself to simply use one screen at a time will help you feel more rested in the given activity.
Also, I regularly turn my phone on airplane mode and not because I’m flying all the time! Like right now, while blogging, in order to not be distracted, I turn my phone on airplane mode. I also no longer have my phone in my bedroom. Yep, not even for an alarm clock. I know, it’s crazy, I actually purchased a real live alarm clock. Old school style. Sometimes this means that I turn my phone on airplane mode, plug it in downstairs to charge for the night, and go upstairs to read a book, or watch TV and DON’T EVEN KNOW what’s happening in the world until the morning. It’s crazy, I know. But honestly, getting back to basics and NOT multi-tasking, or Multi-screening, has HELPED so much in helping me feel, and be more rested.
Resting is SO important. And I feel so strongly that especially as women, and moms, we just don’t prioritize it enough for ourselves. We are so busy with our work, household chores, and carrying the emotional and physical weight of raising tiny humans, that we put ourselves last in the priority list of people and things to take care of.
That needs to stop.
And one way to do that is by learning to rest throughout the day.
My challenge for you today is to ask yourself to think about when it is that you feel most like yourself, and schedule a time this week to do just that.
Take a walk just for pleasure. Bake a cake for no purpose. Read a fiction book just for the joy of story. Paint something because you were made to create. Do what makes your heart feel rested.
And come back here, let me know what it is that you found (aside from a dreamy vacation) that is giving you rest in your everyday life.