The word “rest” is thrown around here and there with many different meanings.
It could be rest as in your body resting while you sleep or sit on the couch
It could be your mind at rest during meditation
It could denote a religious rest, such as the Sabbath.
But what is deliberate rest and why is It something we should all be doing?
What is Deliberate Rest?
Deliberate rest is rest that is taken with purpose – rest which does not require doing or thinking about immediate tasks. Instead, deliberate rest is the rest taken while consuming ideas and learning.
As a society, we have forgotten what it was like to take “rest” in our day. Because we have been trained to think: more time spent resting, more taks spent doing.
Most of us have worked overtime, skipped breakfast and lunch, and gone home to work on more work. Or quite the opposite! Some of us go home from work and turn on the TV to watch the next episode in a fantasy series. We sit and sit in front of it thinking it’s “rest” when in reality, it’s not deliberate rest, it’s mindless rest.
Deliberate rest actually allows our minds to absorb information and do things better.
So watching a thoughtful documentary on the other hand is deliberate rest. Because you’re learning something! It’s not a distraction. it’s engaging our brains. And although we are “resting” our bodies, out minds are not being overstressed or stimulated – they’re engaged in a restful way.
Here’s Why You Should Take Deliberate Rest
There’s a few reasons why deliberate rest is actually something we should be incorporating into our daily lives:
- It teaches us something new
- Allows our body to rest without overstimulation
- Allows us to take mindful breaks throughout the day
- Resets our moods and emotions
- Allows us to prioritize tasks
- Allow us to think holistically about ourselves, our community, and the surrounding world.
And most importantly, deliberate rest allows us to really connect with one another and stop focusing on the negativity surrounding us. What happens most of the time is people take “rest” but their mind is running at 3000 miles per hour criticizing themselves, telling themselves negative thoughts, and time is spent worrying instead of resting. We need to get out of that loop. Mental stress leads to physical stress, and let me tell you, it’s not good.
Back in November, I had time to take rest while I recovered from an illness. However, that rest was not deliberate. I spent most of my time worrying. And in turn, my body started showing signs of heavy stress. I knew something had to change, so I decided to explore the idea of deliberate rest.
How to Take Deliberate Rest
So we know deliberate rest is important to our bodies and minds. Here’s just a few ways I tale deliberate rest, and maybe they’d be helpful for you as well:
- Sit and listen to a podcast, like The Bijou Show, which is informative and helps you become a better, healthier, happier person
- Instead of watching the same shows over and over, turn on a documentary about a subject you want to learn more about
- Read a self help book or non fiction book in the garden or by a window
- Invite a friend or family member over for tea and talk catch up. Engage them in conversation.
- Turn your phone off and disconnect from the wifi for a bit. Spend that time playing with your children, pets, or simply be out in nature.
- Finish tasks while listening to something pleasant
Make It Your Own
Of course the above are just SOME of the things you can do to take deliberate rest. But it really is something you have to personalize. You might connect the dots here and think “deliberate rest seems a lot like slow living” and it is! You can read more about Slow Living in this article I wrote last year, but you’re totally right.
It’s all about taking things slower so that your body and mind can rest in a world where “rest” is criticized. It used to not be like that….in fact, our society has changed so much. People used to really value connectivity and self awareness. That’s just not the case anymore.
So take deliberate rest! And enjoy every second of it.
What questions or comments do you have on deliberate rest? Do you take it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts, and if you’d like to hear more from me, sign up for the Bijou newsletter below for more helpful tips on leading an elegant and wholesome lifestyle!