Our bodies aren’t made to do it all. (In fact, last week we talked about The Gift of Rest.) Going continually and doing more than we can will wear on us after a while. Living in exhaustion for too long often leads to weakened immune systems, crankiness, and an unenjoyable life. For a period of time, little or no rest is okay. If it continues long term, something might need to change.
Here are some Ways to Rest When You Have No Time:
Make a list of everything that’s cluttering up your brain. Go over all of those things that you have to get done. What truly has to be done now and what can be done later? Go beyond that. Now see what you can completely eliminate.
Set a Timer and Work.
If rest is as hard for you as it is me, tell yourself to do as much as you can in 15 or 30 minutes and then be done. I know I’m going to work my hardest for that x amount of time. It takes away that feeling that I’m not doing anything. I can go into rest feeling that something has been accomplished. You can also choose to rest first and set the timer and work second. Either way, you know that you will be productive at some point.
Don’t worry about what needs to be done. Don’t let your mind wander to “to-do” lists. Pray, read, enjoy rubbing your child’s back, close your eyes and nap, take a long shower.
Set a Timer and Rest.
If the thought of rest really stresses you out, set a timer. Tell yourself you are going to give your body a break for 10 minutes. The kids have just gone to bed after a difficult day, the house is destroyed, work needs to be done, and you feel overwhelmed. Sometimes 5 or 10 minutes might be all you have or need. A quick shower, cup of tea, chapter of a book, short workout, reading a Psalm or a cat nap might be all I need to get me through the rest of the essentials.
Make Productivity More Enjoyable.
See if you can combine rest and work. Turn on your favorite CD, Spotify playlist, or podcast while you clean. Call your mom or best friend or listen to audio books while you fold laundry or do dishes. When you are cooking, set up a station for your kids and have them help. Make your favorite beverage to sip on during the day. Have a square of dark chocolate from your secret stash when the kids aren’t looking. Combine exercise with pushing the little ones in a double stroller to get you all out of the house for even an hour. Just breaking up your day can make a big difference.
How do you keep from losing it on those long days after a night of no sleep? What are the best ways to find rest when you have no time?
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