How Rest Helps You Rediscover Yourself

I’m one of those people that has a hard time resting. I have a vision for my future and I’ll work hard to get there. For the past 4 months I’ve been going at full speed. I’m working a full time job while starting a business, taking a class, and trying to spend time with my husband.

Honestly, it’s been exhausting. I’ve been stressed out and have dragged my poor husband down with me. Not to mention all the times I said, “Honey, I can’t talk right now, I have to finish this.”  

I made it to Thanksgiving barely hanging on, a high-strung, anxious ball of nerves. And I was starting to believe that that was just who I was. I beat myself up for not enjoying the moment. I thought, maybe I’m just not a happy person.

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But over the long weekend, something amazing happened: I rested. Not just my body, but my mind. (Which is a huge win for me!) And you know what? I felt like myself again. I had energy, I laughed, I spent time with my husband. I had a positive outlook.

It made me realize how important rest is, not only to our emotional health, but to our sense of identity. If you’re not getting the rest your body and brain needs to process life in a healthy way, you will be a lesser version of yourself. And you might be tempted to think that’s just who you are!

So here are 3 ways to rest and rediscover yourself:

1. Sleep

Not surprising, right? I’ve noticed that getting a full night's sleep (or a good nap) dramatically changes my outlook on life.

It also helps to regulate my emotions, which is key, since they’re so intense. Sleep acts as a bit of a barrier from the intensity of the world. I have more energy, can think clearly, and can better control my reactions.

2. Solitude

Oh my goodness, don’t underestimate the power of me-time! I used to feel guilty for taking it, but it is much better for me and those around me if I take time to re-charge alone. I can unwind from all the stimulation in the world and get lost in thought or prayer.

One thing I love about solitude is that it makes room for God to speak. In the busyness and noise of everyday life I cannot hear God’s voice, but if I make space and time for him, he meets me there in the stillness.

3. No Obligations

Finally, allowing yourself to have a day, a half day or a few hours with no obligations is glorious. Nothing feels better than being wrapped up in blanket, sipping a cup of tea, and knowing I’m not expected to be anywhere or do anything.

Now, this takes intention. If you expect unobligated time to fall into your lap, you will be sorely disappointed. But if you schedule it and communicate to those around you that you will be unavailable during that time, you can enjoy it! Just don’t start doing something when you’re supposed to be resting!