Day 14: Three Steps to Rest Well

{This post is part of my 31 Day blog series Work Hard + Rest Well: Learning Obedience in the Rhythms of Work and Rest.} Yesterday, I was tired. Physically tired. Straight worn out before I’d even gotten out of bed. Fuzzy brain, dark circles under my eyes, yawning every other minutes…I couldn’t shake it.

What do we do when we’re tired? How do we know what will make it better? Can we guarantee that we'll leave our times of rest actually rested?

And I’ve learned the hard way and I’ve messed up too many times. So here’s my list. The mistakes I’ve made turned into steps for resting well.

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Three Steps to Rest Well:

Know yourself.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What gives you energy and what drains you? Rely heavily on past experience, because sometimes the thing that sounds the most overwhelming in the moment, is exactly what you need.

Because just like we must plan and work to find our rest in Jesus, we must plan and work to enjoy the times of relaxation and rest that He gives.

What sounds easy and relaxing in the moment, may not be what you need to truly recharge and refresh. In fact, it often isn’t. Very rarely is TV the thing that will truly recharge me. Very rarely is reading blogs a good way to relax.

You can’t decide how to rest by what sounds nice in the moment. Instead decide by what you know from past experience. Decided based on what has helped restore and refresh you in the past.

So know yourself… Then figure out what kind of tired you are.

There are different kinds of tired. There is over-stimulated tired. There is under-stimulated. There is physical tired. There is mental tired. …and they need different things.

You might need to be with people. You might need to be alone. You might need a nap. You might need a run. You might need a hot bath. You might need a good book. You might need to cook a fancy meal. You might need to journal your thoughts. You might need to cry. You might need to laugh.

Then take what you know about yourself and what you know about the kind of tired you are and make a plan to do something that will combat your tired.

If you are mentally tired, don’t pick a mentally stimulating activity like reading a book or watching tv. Those might sound nice, but they won’t help you mentally unwind.

Know yourself Figure out what kind of tired you are Then...Mentally prepare yourself to rest

Knowing that you are emotionally exhausted and picking an appropriate kind of resting activity will not guarantee you a quality rest. You need to leave everything else behind.

You can’t expect to carry your worries and stresses and work with you into your rest time and still come out refreshed. It doesn’t work.

And I’ve said it dozens of times, but our hearts forget so quickly. This preparing of our hearts best found at the feet of Jesus. And He is calling us to Him. He’s waiting to relieve our burdens. He is worthy of our trust.

“(Cast) all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

And it can seem discouraging that we actually have to have a plan and a process in order to rest well. But I can’t afford to waste my times of rest. And I doubt you can either.

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So let’s learn to plan and purpose our rest obediently and well.

Be blessed <3