I received so many comments in response to last weeks’ blog that I figured they warranted their own blog!
It seems many readers could relate to the concept of rest not being restful whether because of chronic illness, pain, fatigue or sleep problems. It’s good to know we are not alone. Here follows the helpful suggestions made by my readers:
- Pacing. I love this reader’s suggestion of pacing oneself. This means listening to your body and slowing down BEFORE you hit the proverbial wall. Easier said than done. I struggle to listen to the early warning signs of fatigue. In a way, I don’t want to listen to it: I enjoy being productive and getting things done. That tends to be when the whole ship goes off the rails.
- Audiobooks. Audiobooks are certainly gaining popularity at present. They can be a great distraction (as can any book) and can be easier to absorb than paperbacks when you have trouble concentrating, feel tired, have vision problems or naturally learn better through hearing rather than through seeing.
- Sleep studies. One worthy reader highlighted the value of getting a sleep study done if you have not done so already. Sleep studies can pick up problems you never knew were there, and they can explain why your sleep is not refreshing or why you might feel fatigued during the day.
- Extra sleep. Several readers espoused the benefits of long sleeps or extra sleeps including naps. I have heard health professionals warn of the dangers of naps and oversleeping, but I also believe in survival. If extra sleep helps you survive the day or feel just a tiny bit better, do what you need to survive!
- God and his peace. While it can sometimes be difficult to rest in God due to anxiety, pain, a crisis of faith or spiritual trauma, it’s worth mentioning that God endorses rest. He role-modelled rest by ceasing his work on the seventh day of creation, and he invites us to rest in his peace too.
- Creative things. Indulging in creative projects can bring us to life again. Anything from writing, music, painting, photography or designing a new Canva graphic can be replenishing for us. Being creative does not sap our reserves; it increases them. The more we create, the more the reservoir of creativity opens up to us, like a river leading out to the sea.
- Glimmers of awe. One reader defined glimmers as moments that take our breath away, fill us with awe and wonder, and remind us of beauty. A glimmer might be a sunrise or sunset; the laughter of children; a fresh green meadow or an alpine mountain; a garden or waterfall; some extraordinarily good food; sunshine; the symphony of rain.
- Furbabies. Furbabies bring their own special brand of joy into our lives. Everything from their playful nature to the deep, steady rhythm of a cat’s purr can soothe us. My furbaby has taught me that I do not always need to hurry, and that most snuggles can be prolonged by at least another minute or two. I am sure God uses my furbaby to minister his peace and help me rest.
Thank you to all who shared your ideas online about your restful moments. You made today’s blog—literally! I hope this has inspired you, while reminding us that rest is indeed possible.
What things help you find rest? How do you feel different after a real rest? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.