Some of us are not happy unless we feel like we are doing something productive. We all know that rest is just as essential to progress as acting on great ideas but for some reason we have a hard time thinking of rest as a great idea. It is hard for me to take mid-day naps but I have heard of people who swear by them. I also have a toddler that requires regular attention. Put that with the early stages of entrepreneurship and who has time to rest?!
I do! I have not yet adapted to being that person that can wake up 2 to 3 hrs early in the morning to get work done. I identify as a night person and I find I get more accomplished when I am able to get little one asleep before 10 pm. Sometimes we don't make it home until after 11pm so being up until 2 or 3 in the morning while I am already energized is nothing for me. I feel I get enough sleep at night for the most part when I don't have to rush back before 9a. When I do have to leave early, though, enough rest is questionable and I start evaluating my life again, just like everybody else!
It is getting rest in the middle of doing house chores on a day off or in between running errands that I have learned how to relax and give my body a break without sacrificing my productivity. Here are some ways that you, too, can get in some guilt free relaxation even when you don't actually want to go to sleep:
1) Read or Listen to a book that teaches you about an interest you have or about a personal development area. The important part about this is you don't want to do this in your bedroom. You should pick the couch or a chaise chair in a room that does NOT inspire you to sleep that is also in an area with good light. Another key to this working is the book or article(s) need to actually be of something engaging. You want to be educating yourself while you are resting your body for about an hour or two.
2) Embrace the gift of quality time. If you work full time or you have two part-time jobs and/or a family that you divide your time between, it is often hard to balance keeping up with others or enjoying personal interests. One way to be lazy without feeling guilty about it is making phone calls to people you can't always talk to or take an opportunity to cuddle up in bed with your significant other or children.
When you socialize with others aside from social media by simple activities such as sharing a meal or home hanging, not only is it possible to rest your body but you can also battle feelings of depression or failure when you are with the right people. Being alone too long while obsessing over all the problems that need solved compounds stress, so sometimes just hanging out having conversations in the presence of others is a great way to relax and benefit your health at the same time.
3) Book that spa appointment (post-COVID)... Get those nails done. Go see that hair stylist. Both men and women need to pay attention to skin treatments, muscle treatments, and hair care. Taking care of your skin cells helps protect against infections, activation of certain allergies, and inflammation. You just want to make sure that you pick places that are regularly cleaned and maintained after each customer and where you won't be distracted by external factors such as work calls or loudly imposing clients. I am not suggesting that you do this every week considering how cost effective it is to do your own facials, hair care, or nails at home; however, there are times we need to go the lazy route and allow others to provide us with some healthy downtime.
4) Online shop with specific purpose. These days everyone is trying to internet-shame folks for spending money or overly relying on the internet but we can't deny how often productively using the internet can save some of the limited time we all have. If you need to relax but still get things done, putting together your Where To Go, What To Get list while binge-watching your favorite show can help you out once it's time to get back up and moving.
If you don't want to pay fees to have your groceries delivered you can check out deals at your favorite grocery stores in order to plan what you intend to buy and how much you want to spend before you get there. If you know you have an important day coming up and you want that new pair of shoes or have no clue what to wear in general, you can hit your email account to figure out early which stores are having sales and what products fit your budget before you even head to the mall. One of my favorite things to do is to bookmark items I want to revisit later.
If you want to avoid shipping you can check out the store closest to you afterwards when you are already out if the site indicates it is available in store. I am a believer that online shopping really helps to stay within a budget if I know I need certain things for the house or for my daughter but don't want to walk into a store and overspend. E-Commerce is now the sibling of brick and mortar and both consumers and businesses win by integrating the two with each other. Check out my other post 6 Reasons to Always Buy Clothes for more great tips on how to save and what to buy strategically.
5) Ask for or hire help. I feel like house chores take up entirely too much of my free time however I am not yet at the point of forking over money every week for someone else to do it. I'm not saying I won't get there though! For those of you who are in the arena of traveling a lot so you aren't home as often to clean your car or take care of keeping those carpets cleaned and are able to take advantage, a cleaning service on your off day is a fantastic idea.
Even if you don't need help cleaning yet there are personal tasks that need to be handled while you get some rest, a part-time personal assistant could be the answer. In either case, it is ideal to map out exactly what you need handled so that you are getting your money's worth and don't end up doing the work yourself anyway. A few hours once or twice a week can make all the difference.
Sometimes it isn't a matter of having a regular person to help but don't decline visitors who offer to give you a chance to chill, either. Let that person clean the dishes after you cooked the meal when they offer or allow them to distract your kids while you do something that you enjoy doing. If they enjoy the dog, let them take the dog out for its walk or playtime if you are confident both animal and visitor will be comfortable. If you are a regular care-giver to a sick family member and others offer to take you out or take over on the responsibility for awhile, you need to learn to accept the help without feeling guilty or the need for control.
These are five ways I am able to juggle getting rest without feeling that everything else is getting sacrificed. It isn't always comfortable to feel that you are allowing time to slip away but the only way to be effective with time is to purpose it. Rest and relaxation must be included if the other parts will have intensity. What ways do you believe we should incorporate more into our rest routines and what has worked for you when you were at the point of sitting down to stay down?