Most of my days are spent in a hectic flurry constantly running from one thing to the next and rarely allowing myself time to rest. I often find myself longing for the days of simplicity before three jobs, school, and trying to maintain some sort of a social life took over. As much as I can’t stand having such a busy schedule, it allows me to further appreciate the moments I do get to rest. While some people would rather not move from their bed or stare at a tv screen all day, that just isn’t in my DNA. So, for those of you who still like to do something even when you’re supposed to rest, here are a few of my favorite ways to rest and relax in between all of my crazy.
1. Go for a hike. Whether I’m hiking Cloud Splitter at Red River Gorge in Eastern Kentucky or am out at a friend’s farm walking through the woods, I love a good hike. There’s something about being out in nature that calms my heart and mind. It allows me to reset a bit and gives me space to think. Frankly, I believe some of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make were made while out on a hike somewhere. Being outdoors like this allows me to disconnect with the technology that’s constantly screaming for my attention and connect more with God.
2. Read a book. When I’m stressed and need to take a break from life, I can almost guarantee you that I will have some kind of book in my hand (or on my computer). Whether I’m curled up in the chair in my room, by the fireplace, in a coffee shop, or even in the hammock on my back porch, reading lets me escape reality for a bit to reset (or challenge) my mind. There’s something about getting lost in a favorite book - fairy tales, young adult romance novels, Christian fiction, books on topics I’ve struggled with, or The Bible. I’ve read them all and will even hop back and forth between a few different books a week sometimes. Picking up a book is one of my go-to solutions to being busy.
3. Baking. Listen, I love baked goods. Especially when they’re fresh out of the oven and still steaming. What better way to get baked goods than to make them yourself? There’s a lot of careful preparation that goes into baking - especially when making a new recipe - and seeing something through from start to finish brings me a great amount of joy. In fact, I’m probably going to bake some scones right after I finish writing this post (hah!).
4. Get crafty. I love to paint. There’s something about the freedom of being able to create whatever vision I see in my head and the freedom that goes along with that. If painting is intimidating to you, try something else like knitting/crocheting, pottery, photography, etc! The great thing is that with art, the possibilities are endless.
5. Go for a drive. A few of my best friends and I started going out late at night when we’ve been crazy busy and going on driving adventures. We’ll start out from whatever meeting place we’ve decided on, set a time of how long we’re allowed to drive before beginning the return trip, and go. Each time we come to an intersection, one of us picks a direction - left, right, or straight. We’ve ended up in some really small towns and in a different state a few times, but the memories, back roads, laughs, life talks, and jam sessions have always been worth it. I usually have some sort of destination when I’m in my car because I’m either going to another meeting, job, or class. So, being able to drive without any destination takes the mundane out of being in a car and brings excitement back into being in the car.
I hope that, wherever you are, whatever you do, you’re able to find time to rest this week. May God bless your times of rest and provide the space for you to do so!