Mondays have gotten a bad reputation, but they don’t have to be dreadful! Monday Mini is a series of short posts designed to be uplifting and make your Monday a little brighter.
Initially, I intended to post on this topic last week, as last Monday was Labor Day and thus a lot of people were off from work. However, once I really got to thinking about what I wanted to say and the importance of rest, I decided it was counter intuitive to write about rest on a day celebrating work conditions which facilitate regular opportunities to rest.
The importance of setting aside time to rest has been a theme in the background of my life for the past few years. Scientists, psychologists, and religious doctrine have all taken turns emphasizing the benefits of rest, but the most effective argument has been my own personal experience. Through college, various work settings, and other seasons of life, rest has not typically played a major role. However, I have recently focused more on balancing my schedule between work, personal projects, and rest. I have an unconventional work schedule, so this isn’t always easy. Now, I am learning that the work I do benefits exponentially from regular rest.
It is necessary to define the term rest here. Rest necessarily includes the idea of slowing down, but it does not mean being passive or neglecting what is important. To rest well is to take a break from work, but not to ignore it. There are times when rest is impractical or irresponsible, so it is also important to note that the rest I advocate is done at a proper time. For example, last week I celebrated Labor Day, and had a weekend off from work. I used this time to catch up on reading (which can be a facet of work for me, but is also enjoyable enough to count as a restful activity), spend time with family, and do a bit of organizing. Rest does not have to mean laying around doing nothing, but rather diving into the things that matter but often get pushed aside day-to-day. It can mean catching up on sleep, which is also important for physical and mental health, but not wasting the whole day/weekend/etc.
Whatever productive rest looks like to you, I encourage you to make fitting it in once in a while a priority. Read the book you picked up a month ago and haven’t opened since. Drink a cup of coffee without reading work emails. Spend some time focusing on strengthening friendships and/or family relationships. Don’t neglect your commitments, but be willing to take time for yourself. Your work, mentality, and life in general will benefit from it!