It’s the holiday season and people talk about having R and R – rest and recreation.
R and R could also be rest and restoration.
What is rest?
For some the image of rest is taking a nap undisturbed or having time off work. But rest is bigger than that with many meanings and can be described as many things.
Rest is the ceasing of labour. It is having a break from work but it is more than not being at the office physically. It’s not allowing work to intrude into your home life either electronically or in your thought life. So resting may mean not checking emails and turning off your phone. It’s taking a break in your head, choosing not to ruminate on the thoughts of work or its worries when they occur.
I am taking an electronic time out from Friday 22nd December to Sunday 7th January. This includes checking emails, writing and editing, even reading other blogs and articles and completing online courses. Although the last two would be good for me, the danger is once I am on the computer I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from doing more. I have told many people this, including you, so I can be held accountable. Instead I will read, walk, cross stitch, jigsaw, catch up with people and importantly just be. This will be my way of having two weeks of rest and restoration.
There is a natural cycle of rest. You can see this in the seasons. So, you need to find a rhythm of rest, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Rest is stewardship; self-care so you can care for others.
What is restoration?
English dictionaries define restoration with lots of words beginning with ‘re’; renew, rebuild, re-establish, revival, restitution, renovate, reconstruct.1 It is returning (another re word) something ‘to a former, original, normal or unimpaired condition.’2
R and R
Restoration begins with rest – you can see it in the English word structure. Rest means you are not in control. Rest lets the universe run itself. You cannot be restored when you are controlling everything.
As 2017 closes, take time to rest and be restored ready for 2018.
Take action (putting legs on it)
The difficulty with rest and restoration can be actually doing it. You need to take action. As a single parent this can be tricky. Here’s some ideas and I’d love to hear yours:
- have a pyjama day – where no one has to get dressed, you eat only food that you can find in the house that doesn’t require much preparation and everyone just chills by doing their own thing
- set aside an evening to play a board game as a family
- have a play date where the kids can play and you can talk to another adult
- find a way to switch off from work during the holidays – such as an electronic time out, if work thoughts intrude write them down to action them when you return to work and then turn your attention back to having a break
- make some time to do something that you really enjoy like reading, journaling or a craft – you may need a DVD to distract the kids or find a baby-sitter if you can
- take the kids for a walk and stop to look at flowers, trees, the colour of the sky and any interesting things you find on the journey
- make sure you are getting enough sleep
- take the kids out to a museum or a playground, it doesn’t have to be somewhere that you pay to visit
- let yourself enjoy the moment
Photo credit: Kalen Emsley unsplash.com