Posted by: Brian Musser | May 17, 2014

Resting Well (8 Tips for Resting Well)

Work-Ship – Week Six:  The Limits of Work – Day Thirty-Eight:  Resting Well

Eight Tips for Resting Well.

As promised here are some tips for how to rest.

1.  Rest Intentionally and Regularly.  

For rest to be meaningful it should be a decision.  That means you should decide to rest and not be forced to rest.  Often we only rest after we do all the work we could possibly do.  we work ourselves to exhaustion and then rest out of necessity.   For you to get the most out of your rest it needs to be something you choose to do.  Take some time today to choose specific points within your schedule in which you will rest.  These times of rest should be consistent enough that you can anticipate them.  They should be frequent enough that we do not get to the point of exhaustion.

2.   Make Sure Your Rest Is Uninterrupted (un-interrupt-able).

So often we will set aside designated time to rest but the chaos that is our world will invade those times.  Rest is important enough that it should a priority.  There are times when rest should be fixed on our schedules.  Take the necessary precautions to insure that your rest is not interrupted.  Leave you phones and other electronic devices behind.  Inform anyone who needs to know that you will be unavailable.  If necessary designate someone as the contact for you in the time of your rest.  Go to a place where work won’t randomly find you.  Fill your mind with an activity so that your mind not only your body stops working.

3.  Connect It to a Celebration.

This does not need to happen every time we rest but use your time of rest to celebrate something.  It may be a celebration of some specific work-based accomplish.  It may be a celebration of the passing of some period of time.  It may be a celebrations of the God (worship).  As you choose to rest it may be a time to celebrate something that you do not get to enjoy when you are working.

4.  Don’t Wait Until You Have To.

This is in connection with the first point.  Don’t just rest when you are forced to.  Don’t just rest when you are completely exhausted or when there is no more work to be done or when you can not work because of outside factors.  Rest when you can purposely decide to rest.  Rest when you can enjoy rest.  Rest when you can get the most out of it.

5.  Recreation Not Vacation.

Looking specifically at the meaning of those words, we want to re-create ourselves when we rest.  We want to do those things that are restorative to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves.  We do not just want o vacate our time from work.  We do not just want vacate and do nothing.  We want to re-create and do that which is good for us.  At times that may be nothing but rest.  But at other times specific hobbies, activities and celebrations may be more restorative than doing nothing.

6. Avoid Distractions that Can Feel like Work.

The best way I have to explain this is a personal example.  I enjoy playing video games but when I do I play them in a way that is very similar to work.  I will totally engross myself in them for extended periods of time and exhaust myself in a way that is not re-creative.  I don’t rest while playing video games.  Do not do those activities that leave you more exhausted when finished.

7. Trust Others (people, systems, the Divine).

Use rest to develop trust in others.  Use that trust to allow you not to worry about the work assignments that you could be doing while you rest.  If necessary assign activities to others and then trust those person to take care of them.  Ultimately trust God that He will take care of you even when you aren’t actively working.  (This will be expounded upon greatly tomorrow.)

8.  Communicate Your Self-worth to Yourself.

Often we over work because we only value ourselves by what we can accomplish.  I am important only because of what I can do.  Use rest time to communicate to yourself that you are important even outside of your usefulness.  You matter!

If you follow these 8 tips for how to rest well, I guarantee that your rest will be more meaningful.

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