Investing in Rest

‘By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so, on the seventh day he rested from all his work.’- Genesis 2:2

True story – in the process of writing this post I was looking for a nice little quote to compliment it on the topic of rest. I was quite surprised to find the quotes on rest that I found were mostly negative. Some examples below:

‘You’ll have time to rest when you’re dead’ – Robert De Niro

‘If you rest, you rust’ – Helen Hayes

Rest vs work

Embedded deep in the mentality behind such quotes is the belief that rest is counterproductive to getting work done. However, to avoid falling for such fallacy it is important to always think of the bigger picture – a period of rejuvenation helps us not only get more work done in the long-run, it also helps us get better work done. Of course, I found some more positive quotes later on but these quotes indicate a wider problem in our society – we really don’t know how to rest. I’ve written a bit about this topic here in a previous blog post, but as we continue life post-Easter break in the UK (which was hopefully filled with rest for many), I wanted to touch on it some more.

The social media hustle and grind culture, which primarily focuses on non-stop working in order to be wealthy can be quite counterproductive at times. For example, the rise in young people having a ‘side hustle’ – has been very transformative to some, I’m sure, but it also means a now blurred line between rest and work since an activity which used to be part of the former for you, has now become the latter. Statistics from 2018 showed 40% of people in the UK who were surveyed had a side hustle. 40%! Someone tweeted the other day an observation that this trend of young people in particular monetising their hobbies is really not normal, and I’m inclined to agree. As mentioned in the article just linked, the rise of side hustles is due to increasing job insecurity, an issue which, like many others, has likely only been exacerbated by the pandemic. All I’ll say is, nothing – not even the alluring promise of success and wealth, is worth killing yourself over. Do note, I’m not anti-side hustle, but I do believe with such endeavours it can become all to easy to stretch yourself thin, that’s all.

Rest = doing nothing?

You may have noticed that above I referred to activities that help with your rest. Contrary to the way it is sometimes portrayed in the media, the art of resting is not just limited to sleep or doing nothing at all. Certain activities we enjoy have a calming effect on us and are perfect for unwinding – whether it be stretching, baking or going for a stroll.

A month or two ago, for example, I did a colouring in activity as part of church weekend retreat (done virtually this year, of course) and I have to say it was surprisingly very refreshing. It’s quite a mindless activity and honestly it was the first time I had done it since I was a child. For a split moment of your day, your only and foremost concern is co-ordinating colours and colouring within the lines of the image outline. I can now understand why in recent years adult colouring books have been trending.

Here are some things that could perhaps restore your work/life balance and help you get better rest:

  • Know the signs of burnout – physical tiredness, headaches, irritation, lack of concentration etc. Being burnt out makes it harder to work so it’s important to know the signs so you can quickly dial things back in and get some rest.
  • Say NO – it is important to be possessive with your me-time, don’t make it ‘us’ time bybending to the needs of others
  • The importance of discipline – put that work device away – it can wait till after your holiday or weekend is over!
  • What is your escape? – have a magic carpet – something that can you can temporarily dive into to relax and distract you a bit from the world’s madness. For me it’s definitely books and TV shows; what are yours?

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Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Make sure to follow my blog on IG @TheArtofChatter

For The Love of Blogging

I’ve really come to love blogging. My first post was nearly nine years ago now (shout out to that post) – my style has definitely changed as I’ve matured, evaluated my passions and thought more about the content I prefer to work on. I would describe it kind of like the process of breaking into a new pair of shoes; it starts of uneasy but overtime (depending on the shoes) you wear them all the time, the initial struggle becoming only a distant memory

I have so many blog posts in my drafts; ones that I have started having a giant lightbulb of an idea but never seen through to the end (sadly.) I often wonder what would have become of each incomplete article if I had persevered in my writing. But, at the end of the day the blog post topics that are the easiest to write (i.e. the writing just flows) are the ones I know are meant to be and the ones I will most likely post.

Blog writing is something that has a therapeutic effect. Some people knit or exercise, I will often write a post – sometimes it’s the only way to organise my thoughts or rather expel a negative feeling that has been recently consuming me. One post that comes to mind is this one (and this one) since I remember going through a tough time when writing it; one benefit was that it gave me a newfound appreciation for my blog – this outlet I have to freely express my thoughts.

I remember a friend of mine expressed wanting to start a blog and asked for advice since she didn’t know which direction she wanted to take. I’m honestly no expert but realistically, I would say, goals in life change and therefore so will your blog. For instance, with mine I started it as an eager, ambitious teenager hoping to break into the world of journalism (it wouldn’t be wrong to say I sold myself a lot of dreams!) Now? I guess my blog has taken on a life of its own! I’ve tried to keep my posts, relatable and real; the best way to describe them would be as public notes to myself.

I often lie in limbo between writing when I feel and forcing myself out of discipline to write more frequently. However, I’m wary of the latter option because I don’t want something I love, like writing, to turn into a chore. At the moment it remains a leisurely activity – I don’t proofread my things too heavily or fret over the content and structure as I did for university assignments. This year, I am challenging myself with my content – hoping to get more creative with my posts and write more frequently. Additionally, I want to explore the bloggersphere more and follow more amazing bloggers – something at the moment I am (admittedly) not great at! If that’s you let me know; please comment with what you blog about and one of your best posts that your recommend I read 😊