Time for a Rest?

A long, long time ago…before there were cell phones and computers, before telephones and television sets, before cars, machines and electricity…. people lived in a rhythm of working and resting that aligned with the seasons and the moon. 

Not only did these rhythms guide their daily actions, but they also helped them to maintain a balance of their resources.  A full moon lit the way to festivals and celebrations and the new moon was the reminder to rest more deeply because there was no light to work by.  The whole community participated in these rhythms – partly because they had to – when there is no light you can’t work so you might as well go to bed!

Our lives today have blurred the lines between work and rest.  It’s easy to flip a switch and light your way to working through the night.  Instead of the whole community taking time for rest, our community today frowns on anyone who doesn’t uphold the expectation of being ‘on’ and producing 24/7 and can have some very harsh judgements about anyone who sits in front of the TV, takes a nap during the day or gets caught daydreaming.   

The pressure to always be productive and to always do more, be more, have more is crushing your health, your energy and your connection to self and a loving and supportive community.  And this pressure is stealing your creativity and your joy.    

While we can’t go back, we can choose to do a few things to ease the relentless pace of our modern lives.  As I write this note to you, we are in a new moon and we are also in the season of winter.  The winter season is a time for hibernation, deep rest and dreaming and the new moon is also the time to practice rest.  Since most of us can’t take three months to wrap up in a blanket and nap on the couch all day, the new moon offers an alternative.  The moon is dark for three days so for these three days try to incorporate some of the following…

  • no cleaning,
  • no heavy lifting,
  • do a gentle yoga class instead of your bootcamp work out,
  • put your feet up while you are sitting at your computer,
  • close your eyes for 5 minutes (use a timer if you have to),
  • go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual,
  • sleep longer in the morning,
  • turn off the radio in the car,
  • don’t watch the news,
  • create as much silence as possible during your day,
  • take a walk in a quiet area or a forest,
  • stay off social media for an hour, an evening, a day or all three days,
  • silence notifications on everything,
  • create something (a painting, a cake, some doodles, a birdhouse, a poem)
  • daydream,
  • get a massage,
  • move more slowly,
  • ask others to help you with everything

And before you panic and start worrying about not getting anything done, remember this is only for 3 days but the pay off for resting more intentionally will be worth it.  Of course, if you are able to take three days off from everything, I say go for it!  But if you are not in the habit of resting to begin with, start with one or two things on the list and then expand from there.  There’s a new moon every month so you’ll have regular opportunities to practice!

I’d love to hear about what you do to rest or if you try anything on this list.  Rest well.

Photo by Lenstravelier on Unsplash

Back to News List