Rest is elusive, it gets away from us quicker than we realize. There are a few mornings during the week in which I am up before the family. When I'm downstairs alone I feel a stir in my spirit telling me, "rest". I know I should, but then my mind begins to crawl slowly towards the thoughts for the day, the things that I must accomplish, the tasks before me. By the time the coffee has brewed I'm ready to begin, and just as I pour my first cup, Ester comes around the corner, "Mommy"! I realize, instead of spending those moments of solitude thinking about the day, I could have, should have been resting, taking in the sounds of the morning, meditating on what I'm thankful for, clearing my mind.
"Be still Kristin, just - be - still!"
Our daily rest begins with our evening rest, and if we're not able to sleep well, we're certainly going to struggle to find rest throughout the day.
1. Prioritize Rest
Rest is the final thing that comes to mind, it's not something we ease into at night. Typically, like right now, I'm sitting in the dark typing on my laptop while the house sleeps. I'll finally shut everything down around 11PM. I know I don't rest enough, but I am working on it.
Sam and I recently watched the "Human Longevity Project" documentary series, and one of the episodes focused on rest. It was fascinating to learn about how our bodies are intended to follow the cycle of the sun. It makes sense, animals respond to the sun, but because we have technology, we keep going.
On good days we have our largest meal of the day around lunchtime, have a light dinner before sundown, and head upstairs as the daylight fades. This gives our digestive cycles time to recharge along with our brains and bodies. We try to be in bed when it's dark, and asleep shortly after.
2. Keep A Tidy Room
We try to keep our bedroom clean, tidy, and airy to promote better rest. Messy bedrooms have been found to worsen sleep and I believe this to be true. It feels wonderful to come upstairs and cozy into bed when the room is cool, clean, and dark.
3. Invest In Comfort
We have a wonderful guest bedroom mattress, but I'm not so sure about our personal mattress. We may need to look at Lull mattress reviews or even Amazon reviews to find what would be better. Since having Ester our mattress has seemed to lose comfort tremendously (we have a family bed). Having a comfortable mattress and pillow is crucial, and the blankets matter as well. Most couples have varying sleeping preferences, choose blankets and pillows that personally suit each of you.
4. Create A Sanctuary
While it's important to keep the bedroom tidy, cool, and clean, it's also important to create a bedroom that feels like an oasis. This is a personal thing, and endless bedroom inspiration can be found on Pinterest. Some prefer whites, neutrals, airy-like touches, and others prefer a darker, more warm, glowing bedroom. Choose what draws you in to deeper rest.
Essential oils, lamps, and negative space are always rest-promoting in a bedroom. Consider placing dressers and desks in closets instead of in the actual bedroom.
5. Eliminate Tech
It's tremendously hard, I almost feel like it's a losing battle. We do try to put our phones on airplane mode to limit the EMFs, but we still use them in the final moments before closing our eyes. We also have a TV, and I'm sure it's on every night in our room. It's muted, and we choose programs that are commercial free, and calming, but it's still not necessary.
Technology is something that we have adapted to/with as a society, and it's a comfort for many of us. People sleep with the TV on throughout the night, otherwise they can't sleep. But it's terrible for our bodies to not be able to rest in complete darkness, void of artificial noise and light.
We're one step closer to removing our bedroom TV, and hopefully soon, it will be out of our room completely.
If we yield to rest it will find us more easily, and will begin to transform and repair our minds, our bodies, and certainly our souls.
*This is a collaborative post.