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The Importance of Rest


I don’t know about you, but the pressure that this time of year brings starts to fill me with dread. Why is there this need to book exciting events with the children, plan family outings, parties with colleagues, shopping days out with friends, hair appointments… the list goes on. It literally makes me want to run away and hide. Do you feel the same?

It’s almost as if our success and happiness is based on how busy we are and the navigation of the festive season seems to be the ultimate symbol of how well we are coping at life.


When asked how you are, how often is your answer something along these lines: “Things are great, I am/we are just so busy”. Whether that’s busy in life, work, with the children or just in general. It’s almost as if we believe we will get more praise and recognition for being busy.

Any sort of rush can make me feel anxious, even if it’s the school run, or simply trying to fit too many things into the already full day. So, feeling like things are to get even more hectic over the coming months is a nightmare. But, I have come to realise that this lead-up to Christmas does not have to be stressful. I have started to work really hard at not being busy. Simply saying “No” to invites is a helpful start. Of course, I do everything that needs to be done to look after my children, run my business and keep my life happy, but I no longer try and fill every last empty hour with something just so that I can say “I am so busy”. I have started to enjoy the empty times and I am really learning to focus on rest and its importance. I love it when I can answer by saying I have had a quiet, simple day, doing whatever it is I need to do to feel nurtured and loved.

On that note, I was thinking that we don’t really get taught how to rest. It isn’t something we learn as children and it is sad to think that when our children see us flapping around like crazy chickens, they learn that behaviour too.

Quite recently, I had a document sent to me that highlighted the different types of rest. It was such an eye-opener. I always thought resting was taking a nap (which I never get time to do) but actually, it comes in many forms. I am drawn to Ecological and Sensory rest – taking a long hot bath after a freezing swim in the sea is my ultimate rest!

Different types of rest

Physical Rest – Naps, calming breathwork, gentle yoga, etc.
Cognitive Rest – Non-thinking activities such as gardening, baking, etc.
Sensory Rest – Warm baths, loose clothing, massage, soothing scents. Think about really engaging in the senses.
Altruistic Rest – Volunteering, donating, acts of kindness
Psychosocial Rest – Solitude, hugs, reading
Emotional Rest – Journaling, sharing your feelings, taking breaks from social media, news, etc.
Spiritual Rest – Prayer, meditation, anything that connects you to love/ heart
Playful Rest – Team sports, watching comedy, board games, etc.
Ecological Rest – Time in nature, ocean sounds, nurturing houseplants, etc.
Creative Rest – Painting, baking, awe-filled experiences

On reading the list of “rests” it bought a smile to my face, as it highlighted how perfect The Zest Life retreats are at providing space to bring rest into our guests’ lives. The mix of time to self, nature, yoga and meditation, and beach walks is like one enormous resting, reassuring hug.

So I ask: which type of rest resonates with you?

Could you aim to implement a restful practice every day? Maybe there could be a variety of restful practices in your week. Why not make your November more peaceful and instead of being drawn into the madness, use this month as an opportunity to rest and reset?

One response to “The Importance of Rest”

  1. Natasha Broke says:

    What an amazing post, Laura. It is, already!, half way through November but I am going to challenge myself to implement this for the next six weeks (which takes me to Boxing Day).
    I will try to post regular updates on my socials as to how I am getting on.