Our society prides itself on lack of sleep and long hours of work.  However, is a lack of rest sabotaging our productivity?  The short answer is yes.  When you are not rested, you make more mistakes, it takes your brain longer to process decisions, and your body becomes run down and is therefore more prone to illness.

It makes sense to take one day a week to slow down and rest so that you aren’t ill for a week or two.

While a day of rest can look different for different people in different situations, I highly recommend it to keep your sanity and to help you avoid burn out.

I used to be ill every few weeks in spite of eating healthy food and taking good vitamins.  When I implemented a weekly day of rest, my health improved.  Here are some ideas that I implemented that can help you.

1. For a successful day of rest, limit your housework and errands.

There are six other days of the week for housework and errands.  Yes, you may need to wash the dishes after meals, but washing windows can wait til another day of the week.

2.  For a successful day of rest, limit your shopping.  

Even though we can purchase most things online today, again, there are six days of the week to do your shopping.  I have found it refreshing to have one day of the week that shopping is not “allowed.”  Of course there can be exceptions in case of an emergency, but some planning ahead may help limit the emergencies.

3.  For a successful day of rest, limit your cooking. 

You can cook your food the day before and just heat it up on your day of rest.  You can also eat foods that do not require actual cooking, such as salads, wraps, and sandwiches.  Another alternative for your day of rest is to fast, or at least eat less.  You can read about the benefits of fasting here.

4.  For a successful day of rest, stay at home as much as possible. 

Especially if you are an introvert, having a day at home is vital.  You have your favorite food, books, and other belongings at home.  I have discovered that just not needing to go get in my car and go anywhere for a day is a blessing in itself.  Learn to enjoy being at home rather than seeking opportunities to leave the home.

5.  For a successful day of rest, log out of your email.  

You can set an auto-responder, but not checking your email one day a week will give your brain a break from all the marketing offers in your inbox.  It will also teach people that you are not available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that is ok.

6.  For a successful day of rest, spend time in nature.  

The color green is said to be relaxing.  Spend time in your garden, in a nearby park (to avoid driving), or in your yard.  You will soak up some free Vitamin D as well as get fresh air which will energize you but also help you to sleep better.

7.  For a successful day of rest, do something that you enjoy. 

If you wish you had more time to read, use your day of rest to read.  If you wish you had more time to draw, paint, or embroider, do that!  My experience has been that reading allows me to stay at home yet to feel as though I am on vacation.  The key is that you don’t feel as though you are working.  Do something enjoyable!  And, yes, something enjoyable may be a nap.

Another tip is that you should rest from rigorous exercise.  Your muscles do need time to recover from exercise.  Turning off the news can help you rest too.  You can ask a friend or family member to inform you if there is an emergency and something needs your immediate attention.  

Do you take a day off to slow down or rest?  Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. 

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