Rest now

Jeff takes a rare nap on the beach in Grenada, March 2010.

Jeff takes a rare nap on the beach in Grenada, March 2010.

“…rest now. Rest for longer than you are used to resting. Make a stillness around you, a field of peace. Your best work, the best time of your life will grow out of this peace.”
Peter Heller

Jeff is really good about prioritizing sleep, but he doesn’t seem to enjoy resting.  I sometimes joke that if there is no work to do, he will make some.  One of the things I miss most about being able to go on vacations is that it usually forces him to rest a little more than usual.  Just a little, though.  I’ll happily spend an entire day lounging on the beach, but his limit is about an hour.

I think most of us feel a bit guilty about resting, as if it is unproductive time.  But I agree with Heller.  Rest recharges our batteries, helping us work better and smarter, with more energy.

If you have a lot to do, it may seem counter-intuitive, but perhaps you need to schedule some rest breaks into your day.  Take a power nap or just close your eyes and zone out for a few minutes.  And work on carving out an entire afternoon or even a whole day to give yourself time to do nothing at all.  Chances are, you will accomplish just as much — and  maybe more — than if you stayed on high alert for hours on end.

One year ago today:

When action grows unprofitable

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! This is really good advice – and so difficult for me to heed! I seen to be getting worse as I get older. The days go faster, and there’s more to do!
    I probably need to find a way to simplify, so that there’s just less to do. Do you have any favorite tips and tricks in that area?

    • Susan, I wish I did. I feel quite overwhelmed myself, especially in the wake of Matt’s most recent (and scariest) diagnosis and all the medical appointments that entails. The decreased “free” time I do have leaves me resistant to doing anything strenuous or unpleasant. As my brother once said, “Aging is not for sissies!” I think the perception of there being too much to do in the time allotted is partly due to our inevitable slowing down as we grow older. I’m trying to embrace that slowness as a natural stage of life, and not fret about what I don’t get done. Some days I can manage this much better than others, though! Meanwhile, the advice all around us nowadays, to simplify everything, is a great tool if we don’t allow it to become just another stressful thing we have to do.

      • So true! Simplifying as yet another activity – yikes!
        Yesterday I threw out a bunch of papers and magazines, rather than trying to read and take action on them all!

        • WOW, if you can talk me into doing that same thing, I could get a lot farther in my quest to clean out and clear out. A huge percentage of my clutter has to do with words…

          • It’s hard to dismiss those unread words, which represent thoughts, feelings, viewpoints.
            But there are so many!
            We just have to let some go, and hope those words have benefited someone else, I think. Do you have any more insight on how to do this?

            • No, not really. I’ve been addicted to reading all my life, and my unread books and magazines are my “stash.” I thought at first that having access to so much through digital archives would help me pitch a lot of what I’ve kept, but that has only been of limited value. I have concluded that I draw some sort of psychological comfort from being surrounded with books and magazines. I guess there are worse vices.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: