Resting Is Hard Work

If you’re like me, you may find taking breaks or vacations from your work to be difficult. Or, if you are able to take breaks, they’re either very busy or unplanned, so every minute that you’re actually able to rest is plagued by thoughts of all the productive things you could be doing if you weren’t wasting time.

But is rest really a waste?

How To Rest Productively

When I thought of resting, I thought of it as doing nothing. Nothing at all. I’d have this picture of myself sprawled out on the couch watching TV or sitting on some beach sipping a fancy chilled drink and earning myself a sunburn.

But over my two-week summer break, my view on resting/relaxing has changed, and now I know that it is possible to be productive even when taking a break (and having fun). Not only was I productive, but I genuinely enjoyed myself during this break and got some much-needed rest, unlike during my spring and winter breaks.

So how can you do the same?

#1 Have A Clean Slate

I already knew ahead of time that I didn’t want to have anything hanging over me this break. No school assignments, no work commitments, nothing. I wanted the freedom to truly rest and do whatever I wanted, so I worked really hard to finish all my assignments before the last day of class. It wasn’t fun, or easy, but I can now say that it was worth it.

#2 Do The Work

If you’re in school, you may find yourself stuck with assignments you have to complete over break. These assignments will linger and nag at the back of your mind if you keep pushing them off during your break, and will make it difficult for you to enjoy your vacation quite as much. So, it’s best to get those assignments out of the way as soon as possible instead of waiting until the day before you go back to school (just trust me on this one… no one needs that much stress).

#3 Don’t Become Too Attached To Your Plans

There’s a danger in planning out every minute of your breaks.

You may have a lot of things you’d like to do while you’re taking a vacation, but if you’re not careful, you may find yourself stressed out if your plans should go completely off the rails. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make plans. In fact, you should definitely make plans to do whatever fun and interesting things you want to do.

Just make sure to leave some space for spontaneity.

#4 Say No

You don’t have to give your time away just because you have it. If you have the freedom to choose how you spend your time over break, then use your freedom! I ended up saying no to an optional work opportunity, and while it was really hard for me to do, I’m so grateful that I did!

Because I said no to that work opportunity, I was able to pursue my creative passions and genuinely enjoy my vacation. Of course, I didn’t give up all my responsibilities. There were still things that I had committed myself to do, like housesitting/dogsitting, or posting to social media daily.

But I did set limits for myself, and being strict in some areas allowed me to be flexible in other areas.

#5 Say Yes

And on the other side of saying no, is not being afraid to say yes to opportunities that come up while you’re on break.

Whether it’s going to a baseball game, to the movies with friends, or even a last-minute babysitting gig, saying yes could actually make your time of rest more fulfilling. It’s just finding the balance between yes and no that works best for you.

#6 Pursue Your Passions

Use the time you have to do the things you enjoy, but don’t usually have time for.

This is what made my vacation time the most fun and productive. I really enjoyed playing around with some worldbuilding and mapmaking (click here to see a map I made!).

I got to read, write, draw, and spend a ridiculous amount of time in Hobby Lobby (and various other craft stores). If you have a hobby of your own that you love but haven’t had time for, then your vacation is the perfect time to pick it back up. And if you don’t have a hobby, then you could use the time to find one.

 #7 Let God Lead

Psalm 127:2 ESV

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Finding the balance between responsibilities, hobbies, and other fun stuff isn’t easy. Especially if you try to do it on your own.

So let God take the lead. Stay plugged into his word so you can hear his voice as you make your vacation plans.

He will put opportunities in your path that will help you rest, refresh your heart and mind, or that are just plain fun!

#8 Journal Your Experiences

Last, but certainly not least, write about what you did during your break. Not only will it be nice to remember all the things that you did, but writing everything down will also show just how much you did and accomplished during your break.

Have A Great Summer!

You don’t have to come back from your vacation feeling like you just wasted a bunch of time.

You can have fun, rest, and still get a lot done in the process!

Before You Go…

How has your summer been so far?

Let me know in the comments below!

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