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I love to rest and relax.
Really, I love doing whatever feels right to me in the moment—sometimes that means rest, and sometimes it means doing something.
But I’ve made rest a priority over the last few years, mainly because I realized how much I needed it and how much I was often resisting it. I noticed how (bad) I felt when I was burned out. I observed how a part of me felt like I should always be doing something productive or how I felt like I needed to “make the most” of my free hours each day.
I’d also observe the discomfort I’d feel when I did “nothing” or did something “unproductive.”
So, even though it might sound a little strange, I trained myself to become comfortable with resting, with relaxing, with doing nothing—and to be able to do it without guilting myself about how I should have been doing something productive instead. Well, this last part is a work in progress. I do still have to consciously remind myself that it’s okay to rest sometimes.
But I’ve realized that when we truly honor our need for rest, we feel better. Life feels better.
We all need rest sometimes. We can’t be busy or on-the-go all of the time (even if we wish that we could be). We all need to slow down sometimes, breathe, and allow ourselves to be.
Sunday, I sat outside for hours just looking at and appreciating the beautiful nature around me. Spring is so beautiful where I am right now, and I’m finding myself in awe of the trees and the sounds of the birds and the feel of the world around me. I was also soaking in family time, which felt wonderful. It felt so good to just sit outside and do nothing but just be there.
There are so many ways to rest and relax, and we may feel like doing different things at different times.
I feel like the most important thing is to just tune into what we really need in the moment and honor it.
Here are 15 ways to rest and relax, from Elephant readers:
1. “By the water watching the early mist rise & at night watching the sun go down. Listening & watching nature while talking a walk in the forest. Peace & Serenity at it’s best” ~ Debbie
2. “Going to a Beach that’s secluded or to the Mountains…Getting into nature and away from people. Playing music. Having my Dog around.” ~ David
3. “A simple cup of tea and a good book always work. But for pure relaxation, the ocean is the only answer for me.” ~ Nancy
4. “Writing always works. I like working on music as well – I find creativity and imagination are the best ways to enjoy your time” ~ Jay
5. “Soothing music, time in nature, grilling up some good family dinners” ~ Mariella
6. “Read, watch movies, sit on porch. In Texas, drive to the hill country.” ~ Oleta
7. “Get away from tech and people. Time with myself is my best medicine.” ~ Alan
8. “External things like hiking and swimming in a lake are nice, but I’ve found true relaxation to come internally. It’s a state of calmness, oneness and belonging. Just sitting and appreciating the movement of a tree I find to be very rejuvenating” ~ Kayla
9. “Reading, writing, walking, playing music.” ~ Dan
10. “Meditation, walking with nice views and exercising the brain and learning new techniques” ~ Stephen
11. “Listening to jazz” ~ Mary
12. “Cooking, music, walking, podcasts.” ~ Diane
13. “A swim at the beach.” ~ Juliana
14. “Anywhere outside in nature under blue skies.” ~ Gloria
15. “Hiking, riding my Sportster. Reading and writing. Of course the normal things like crotchet. Quilting, sewing, scrapbooks. Etc” ~ Laurie
What are some of your favorite ways to rest and relax?