Posted on Sep 6th, 2006

Rest.

It’s a good thing to do. As the story goes, even God rested one day out of seven.

Yet our culture treats rest like it’s a dirty four-letter word.

Benefits and suggestions

1) Relaxation: You can say you heard it here first - it’s OK to relax. Yet many of us act as if it’s a dangerous or wrong thing to do. Rest brings the relaxation of your mind and your muscles.

2) Recreation: You do not have to stay still to rest. Recreation means to re-create your energy and your life. Make a list of the things you do to relax and for recreation. Now, how many of those have you done in the last month? Not many I bet. To change this, all you have to do is pick one activity, do it, pick another, do it, etc. That’s not too hard, now, is it?

3)Energy: "Runnin’ on empty, runnin’ blind. I’m runnin’ into the sun, but I’m runnin’ behind." Many of us live out these lyrics from the Jackson Browne song. We run on empty from pushing so hard, and then push harder still. True rest restores the energy to run ahead and stay there.

4) Ease: I see this in many of my counseling and coaching clients - an inability to be at ease with themselves, others and their surroundings. We get so revved up in our lives, we become uncomfortable with ease. But as Matthew Broderick said in the movie "Ferris Beuller’s Day Off," "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to enjoy it sometimes, it will pass you by."

5) Simplicity: I can always use a little more simplicity in my life, and I’m betting that you can too. Schedules to keep, deadlines to meet, bills to pay, etc. We get seduced into believing that the more scheduled and complex our lives are, the more productive and successful we will become. Quite the opposite is true, however.

6) Solitude: While you do not have to be alone to rest, solitude can certainly be restful. Remember that there are two words for the state of being alone. One word is lonely, not a good or desired state in which to be. Another word for the state of being alone is solitude, which is the enjoyment of being alone.

7) Time: Rest requires time. If you believe you do not have enough time to rest, you have just proven how badly you need to rest. There are times when you must carve out some time to rest. Write it in your calendar and then protect it just like you would any other important appointment. The fear is that when you rest you lose time. The curious paradox is that rest gives you more time.

8) Temple: It’s been said that the body is a temple. If that’s true, then treat your body well.

Rest it.

For more tips and tools for stress management and mastery, visit ToolsforSuccessfulLiving.com

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