REST: Optimal or Optional?

(This post was written yesterday….)

It’s 4:58pm on Monday and I have just woken up from my second 4-hour “nap”.

The last five days have been interesting because it has required me to do nothing but rest.

Last Thursday, I awoke only to find myself without a voice. My mind was raring to go but my body had completely checked out.

It was official: my body was tired, which meant that I needed to rest.


The interesting thing about rest is though it sounds so simple, it can be one of the most challenging things for us to do. In our world of endless to-do lists, information flying at us from every angle, and the (often times unhealthy obsessive) need to do more, be more, get more, make more leaves little time for what we often need the most….rest.

See the thing about rest is that to truly do so and reap the benefits of it, we must surrender.

To surrender requires us to let go of our to-do lists.

It requires us to let go of what we think we should do for what we need to do.

It requires us to turn down the volume of the chatter in our head and tune in to the silence of our heart.

It challenges us to see it not as a nice-to-have but an essential ingredient to living our best lives.

It invites us to let go and just be.

Rest says, “Let me help you.”


We eat to give our body and soul energy. We exercise mentally and physically to strengthen our selves and keep our vehicle (that’s you and I) in tune. We rest to allow ourselves to repair, rejuvenate, and restore…it’s an act of love from the inside out. @NickNilson tweeted last week that “One of the BRAVEST  things we can do is WAIT.” I’d like us to consider that RESTING is one of the BRAVEST things we can do. It takes courage and commitment, love and letting go, tenacity and trust.



So how do you rest without taking a pill to knock yourself out?

Here are 5 ways to get in the groove:

1. Breathe and then breathe again. Not the cheap old half-a-breath-in, half-a-breath-out but full belly expands-belly contracts type of breaths.

2. Check your perspective. Do you see rest as optional or optimal to you being your best? If you see it as the former, I highly encourage you to try on viewing it as the latter. As my wise husband Drew says, “Rest to be your best.” Check out what these folks have to say about rest…

Rest: The Importance of Slowing Down by Jessica Sepel

The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist

Do You Know How to Rest? by Chris Assaad written for the @DailyLove (I particularly like Chris’ use of music to describe the importance of rest and his catchy acronym R.E.S.T.= Relax. Enjoy. Surrender. Trust.)

3. Make yourself a warm caffeine-free drink. I found this concoction via pinterest, which I love. There is something so soothing about warm/hot drinks.

1 cup of warm milk

dash of cinnamon

splash of vanilla

1 tsp of honey

4. Turn the volume of the world down. In the silence, we can hear everything.

silence is golden


5. Close your eyes (even for a couple of seconds). When we close our eyes, we somehow are able to see everything that truly matters.

close your eyes to see what truly matters



Rest is about being our best.

Optional or Optimal, the choice is yours…

In my world, rest….is non-negotiable.

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