Tips on How to Rest For People That Hate to Sit Still

This is a slightly ironic and possibly out-of-place post, given that the premise of this blog is to DO all the things I want to do and squeeze the most out of my day. But, alas... here we are.

I hate to rest. Objectively speaking, I'm also terrible at it.

My husband will be the first to tell you that I am typically over-programmed and incapable of sitting still for longer that 30 minutes. I used to flatly deny this, but now I just embrace it. I love my weekends to be jam-packed with activities, and I try to do the same for a few hours of my weeknights as well.

I think part of it stems from this feeling that our weekends are a treat and we should make the most out of them--and in the past, I've tied rest and relaxing to "wasting my weekend."

Well, apparently your body has a way of telling you when to slow down, or at least mine does. Last weekend, I had a minor pregnancy scare--the baby is totally fine, but long story short my Sunday was spent in bed, with very little time on my feet. I said goodbye to our day's plans for a long trail run, helping our friends move, grocery shopping and food prep, a trip to the park with the dogs... And instead, Evan parked me in bed with a book, some magazines, and snacks.

After a few minutes of protesting, I put on my most comfy sweatpants and fully indulged in my unplanned day of rest. My day was spent baking sourdough bread (more on this in the next post!), reading the stack of Bon Appetit and Cooking Light magazines I have lying around, taking a nap, watching a few feel-good movies, and browsing some catalogs for baby stuff.

So, my day off taught me a thing or two:

(1) Rest is a beautiful thing.
(2) Your days feel longer when you aren't scrambling around.
(3) Life goes on when you don't get your to-do list done.
(4) I really enjoy mental breaks--a true break, not just sitting on the couch watching Netflix (guilty).

Since that weekend, I've been finding (or trying to find) a good balance between slowing down and still enjoying an on-the-go lifestyle, and I thought I'd share some tips with those of you who feel similarly allergic to lazy days!

1. Give up the guilt. Once I let go of my mental to-do list, I started to enjoy the full day of 'nothingness.' I didn't let myself feel guilty for skipping a run and lounging around, and it was liberating.

2. Take a walk. I noticed that I get really militant about devoting a portion of my weekend to a longer run or workout, and I let it hang over my head to the point where I'm not even looking forward to it. It becomes a chore, not a treat. On Sunday, I took myself out on a long walk, on one of my favorite trails! I covered a little over 4 miles in an hour while listening to my favorite podcast and it was glorious.

3. Listen to a new podcast. Speaking of podcasts...I googled around for some recommended podcasts for foodies the other day and stumbled upon Gravy, which is all about how immigrants are changing the landscape of Southern cooking. I listened to a few episodes and loved the stories of family and cooking.

4. Light a candle. I feel like I always save candles or ration them so I don't use them up quickly, so they're always reserved for some unknown special occasion. Why? Evan and I have been lighting candles when reading, or eating dinner, or writing at night... and it feels so luxurious. I immediately feel myself relaxing!

5. Find things that are lazily productive. This is a tricky suggestion for those of us that can't sit still. I found that I can ease myself into restfulness by "tackling" some lazy chores, such as clipping recipes, meal planning, and flipping through my growing pile of magazines. These feel restful and relaxing, but I still get to tell myself that I'm getting something done. Other lazy-yet-productive ideas? Finishing the book you've had by your bedside for months, writing a letter to a friend, knitting or sewing, online shopping, etc.

6. Challenge yourself to a movie marathon. Sometimes I feel bad for parking myself in front of the television, especially when I know there is no purpose (mostly, this phenomenon occurs when we have an hour or less to kill and we just browse Netflix until we find something to pass the time). To remedy this, Evan and I have started challenging ourselves to these epic movie marathons, mostly comprised of series or trilogies that we haven't seen in ages! Currently we're on Rush Hour (hilarious), but we've also worked our way through Bourne and Harry Potter.

7. Read your guilty pleasures. I have a secret love for thriller novels and feel-good fiction. In my mind, I want to be reading Tolstoy and Ayn Rand, but in my heart all I want is a book that sucks me in and allows me to escape! So, indulge in what you want to read not what you think you should read! My favorites lately: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Violets of March by Sarah Jio, and basically anything by Elin Hilderbrand....

8. Find your happy go-to playlist. I have a few playlists that I rotate, depending on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. For example, classic rock for workouts, country for running, feel-good oldies for driving.. etc. I recently cultivated the perfect playlists for lounging around--it's a great mix of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, Julie London, Louis Prima, and Frank Sinatra. I smile every time it's on.

9. Talk to a friend. I don't know about you, but the majority of my communication is via text... Recently, I've been taking the time to send really long emails to one of my very best friends that lives in Spain--it is like we're writing mini-novels to each other and I love it! I so look forward to her next letter, and I think all week about what I'll write in mine! Maybe you can call a friend or family member, write a letter, reach out via email to a long-distance pal!

10. I dont have a tenth but when I think of one, I'll let you know :)


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