Do you find it difficult to rest? I do. Even during the past year of unpaid leave (here’s why I took a year off from end 2020). Maybe it’s because I feel like I have to be productive, or it’s simply my nature to do stuff that matters. Do you identify with these?
- You turn on the phone, see your Gmail notifications and get worried about work even on a rest day. Do you end up struggling whether to check emails?
- Finally it’s binge-watch time. But the more you watch, the more you feel that you are not making good use of time. Do you worry about the stuff that’s piling up & the dream that’s floating away?
- You want to do nothing. But while you’re at it, you know that your boss expects you to review that report and your family expects dinner.
In the past 12 months of staying at home, I haven’t been resting.
I spent about 3 months helping kiddo with her exams. And it took 5 months of iteration before settling on this format of daily bible verse, journal prompts and weekly journal workbooks in the Facebook group. And this is like a full-time job.
5 Ways to Rest even when You feel like You can’t
Trust that You are Blessed
I love that Numbers 6 came up this week (it’s the daily bible verse on 31 Oct 2021 on my social media, do follow here!). This week is the final week of my unpaid leave, and it’s a mixed bag of emotions & conflicting thoughts. Numbers 6’s Aaronic blessings brought me comfort.
One major reason why I can’t rest is because I know work doesn’t get done by itself. But what if whatever I can get done is the right amount of work to be done & I am already blessed by God?
Here’s a journal prompt for you:
How will I change the way I rest, knowing that I am blessed? Can I allow myself to rest and trust that work is done at exactly the pace needed to achieve my goals?#1 Journal Prompt
Know that You are Protected
While I can (learn to) trust God that whatever I can get done for Clueless Journal is the right amount of work, how about office work? It is another kind of stress working on project deadlines and having to deliver results.
For the latter, part of not being able to rest is the consequences of not doing – missed deadline (set unrealistically tight in the first place by others) & repercussions for not meeting expectations. What if you could rest without fear?
Here’s a journal prompt for you:
Knowing that I am kept by the Lord means that I am being watched over and protected. What’s the worst that will happen if I choose rest? And even if it does, is there a possible silver lining?#2 Journal Prompt
Spend Time on What Matters
I’m BIG on this – Time Management. I have been tracking time for years – typically for 2 months as I embarked on a new project. Give it to you straight – Maximum is about 5 super-productive hours a day.
- 8 hours of sleep, including falling asleep time
- 3 hours of meals, including getting ready and washing up but not cooking
- 2 hours of exercise, including getting ready before and showering after
- 1 hour of chores
- 1 hour of bible devotion
- 2 hours transport
- That’s remaining 7 hours, and given that it’s impossible to concentrate for 7 hours straight. 5 hours is the productive hours on a good day.
With so little time left, we really have to do the things that matter. What matters? I believe it’s the thing that keeps coming back to you and tugging at your heart 🧡 p.s. Trust that God has placed it in your heart.
Here’s another journal prompt for you:
What do I find myself being interested, caring about over & over again for the past few years? How can I take one small step to discover if it matters to me?#3 Journal Prompt
Set Boundaries with Others
This again falls back to #1 & #2. If we can trust God to bless and protect us, we can set boundaries with others without fearing that bad things will happen.
Honestly, I haven’t tried this out at work.
I set boundaries for my family, meaning that I am seldom interrupted at home. But work is a different animal and that’s really added to this mix bag of emotions as I start work again next Monday.
I try to think of this life on earth as a dot in eternity. Meaning nothing matters that much while the things that matter are how we have cared for others. Given the precious few hours I have (from setting boundaries), I pray that the time I spend doing the things that matter will be akin to storing treasures in heaven.
When I believe I’m storing treasures in heaven, I can rest even when I work.Mei @thecluelessjournal
Commit to Your Space
I see space not just physical space, but our mental space & emotional space.
You could also see it as a different zone. For instance, when you are meditating, commit to being present. When you are working on your dream, commit to that mental space to focus on it. When you are spending time with your family, commit to that emotional space to connect.
So what’s the problem?
It is difficult to switch out of one activity and be fully present in the next. In Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits book, one of the habits is managing transitions. Personally I view this as a critical habit to have – it not only helps you to be focused and present, but it reduces time wasting and ineffectiveness if you worked on the next thing but still worrying about the previous thing.
Try journaling through the above 5 ways to rest. With free-form journaling, let the fears, anxieties, assumptions surface and then choose to tackle one each week. And of course, lots of prayer!
Resting in the Lord
Numbers 6 Journaling Prompt
If you can rest without fear, how would your rest be different?
What is one step that you commit to in order to rest better?
God, many days I cannot truly rest. I fear that I am letting my dreams fly away or that I will be penalized. Show me that you will protect me and help me to have that space to do what matters, amen.
Books on Resting
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I found these books about rest which have received positive reviews 💪