a fox finally resting

When you can’t relax

So it’s Monday, and you don’t feel relaxed. What happened? Maybe you even “stayed home and did nothing,” and yet you didn’t really replenish your energy. Well, today I’ll share a little guidance that will hopefully give you a booster shot to help you truly rest the next time you get a chance.

It turns out that Thich Nhat Hanh describes this exact scenario of resting but not really resting:

Calming allows us to rest, and resting is a precondition for healing. When animals in the forest get wounded, they find a place to lie down, and they rest completely for many days. They don’t think about food or anything else. They just rest, and they get the healing they need. When we humans get sick, we just worry! We look for doctors and medicine, but we don’t stop. Even when we go to the beach or the mountains for a vacation, we don’t rest, and we come back more tired than before. We have to learn to rest.

Did you notice that part about all animals needing to rest? You need to rest too. You need to replenish your mental energy from many hard days of work.

So how do we learn how to rest?

There are many ways to learn to disconnect, but most mindfulness practitioners point to breathing techniques. I had to employ it myself last night when I couldn’t get to sleep. Click here for our article on breathing techniques and their values.

Hey, is this article over already?

Yes, it is. Sorry, but I needed a rest this weekend too. So I gave myself a break. I used the time that I would normally be researching psychology studies and combing through Buddhist text to instead doing nothing but stare out my window.

What can you “slack on” to make time for rest?

So that’s my challenge for you. Is there one thing in your life that you can give up or put down for five minutes? Try installing a screen time app on your phone to see where you’re spending your time. Then you can audit the results and say, “hmm, maybe I don’t need to spend 4 hours on facebook.” All you need to do is carve out 5 minutes to doing nothing.

And if you’re finding it difficult to really enjoy the calm and quiet, you need a positive voice in your head. When your brain is telling you that “you shouldn’t be resting” please try to insert my voice saying “you deserve it.” Because you really do.

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