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Rest Up: 10 Hacks To Finally Get You The Rest You Need

Tell me something. Whenever you hear the word “rest,” what immediately comes to mind? If you’re gonna say sleep, while that is indeed one definition, I want to encourage you to look well beyond that. By literal definition, rest is super multifaceted. It means things like “refreshing ease,” “a period of solitude or tranquility,” “mental and/or spiritual calm” and “absence of motion.” To rest is to take a breather, to get in some intentional downtime, and to relax so that you can get some well-earned relief.


People who know how to rest know how to stop long enough to be still. If that means taking a nap, so be it. If that requires disconnecting from the world for a moment, they are all about it. In short, individuals who are intentional about getting the rest that they need (and we all need it by the way) are those who tend to be very focused on living a life that is full of serenity and peace.

Okay, so keeping all of this in mind — do you get enough rest? I’ll go deeper. When you hear quotes like “Love turns work into rest” (Teresa of Avila), “Everything needs a break” (Toby Beta), and “Real rest feels like every cell is thanking you for taking care of you,” what goes through your mind? What do you do to make these sayings actually come to life?

If rest is something that you know you could stand to get a lot more of yet you’re not really sure how to go about doing it beyond getting 6-8 hours of sleep in, here are 10 hacks that can help to get you into the place of pause, comfort and even leisure (all of which are synonyms of the word “rest”) that you are beyond deserving of.

1. Treat Yourself

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Although it is my personal opinion that more research should be done on the benefits that come from self-pampering, I did happen upon a study that said thatwhen working women make a point and purpose to indulge themselves, it can reduce depression symptoms. And what does self-pampering look like? Whenever I’m asked this question, I make sure to say that I think it goes beyond basic self-care (like taking a bubble bath); pampering should be about doing things that you almost feel guilty for like booking a hotel room for the weekend do nothing but finish a favorite book or scheduling a spa day that is more than just a couple of hours long (like literally the entire day).

When you decide to treat yourself, not only are you saying that you deserve to invest some time and resources into nurturing yourself on a 2.0 level, but you are also choosing to do something that helps you to get off of life’s busy train for a moment so that you can actually relax and rest. That said, when’s the last time that you’ve done it?

2. Set Firm Boundaries

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If there’s one thing that my circle knows about me, it’s that I’m gonna set and state some boundaries. Because I grew up around so many people who would completely railroad my needs and feelings, I’m sure that’s part of the reason why I’m damn near hyper-intentional about having limits now. Take my phone number, for instance. It’s pretty common knowledge that not a ton of people have it, that I would rather video chat with those who don’t (because I can Google Chat or Skype them), and if someone who does happen to have it gives it out without my permission, I will change my number and not give it to them (because…lesson learned).

Hey, see it how you want yet my life is peaceful because when my phone rings, I know it’s someone who I have invited to be in that close of proximity to me and, because I am highly selective of my world, I know that some sort of laughter, insight or reciprocity (instead of constant negativity, drama or someone draining me) is on the other end. And for me, that puts my mind, body, and spirit at rest.

That’s one of my boundaries. Yours may be something totally different. All I’m saying with this tip is make sure that you have some. As one of the quotes in the signature of one of my email accounts says, “Boundaries are what you say 'no' to. Priorities are what you say 'yes' to.” (Nick Chellsen) You’ll be amazed by how peaceful your life is when you unapologetically decide who has the character to bring peace into your life vs. who…doesn’t.

3. Take (More) Power Naps

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I’ve actually shared in other articles that, reportedly,1 in 3 people do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. That’s not good (at all) because (for starters) when you’re sleep-deprived, you absolutely are robbing yourself of the opportunity to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. In fact,sleep deprivation is tied to things like anxiety, moodiness, poor judgment,not being able to read others’ emotions well, and just an overall sucky quality of life.

What can you do to help yourself out in this area? Take some power naps. Making the time to nap for 10-30 minutes (no more or less than that if you want to get the best results of one), can give your system a recharge that isbeneficial in all kinds of ways. Power naps help to improve your mood, make it easier for you to concentrate, and boost your memory — they simply make it easier for you to function overall (especially if you need some additional “oomph” to get through the end of your workday).

And how does all of this help you to ultimately get more rest? Think about it: when you’re in a good headspace, you are able to perform better; this means that you aren’t stressed out while you work and that you can complete tasks in such a thorough way that it’s easier for, not just your body to leave the office, but your mind as well.

4. Do the “4-7-8 Exercise”

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Not too long ago, while reading an article about how to breathe correctly on the American Lung Association’swebsite, I took special note of how it is not just important to breathe through the nose; we should also take a good amount of air in through our stomach too. That got me thinking about when I first got introduced to what is known asthe 4-7-8 exercise.

If you’re not familiar, basically what you do is take in new air for 4 seconds before holding it for 7 seconds and then slowly releasing it for 8 seconds. Why would you do this? Well, if you’re someone who struggles with feeling nervous or anxious, it can help with that. Another benefit is it’s a wise move to make before turning in at night because it calms your senses, lowers your blood pressure, andstimulates your body to produce more melatonin within your system. An additional perk is that some health professionals say that it’s an all-natural way to decrease migraine-related discomfort (if that’s something you struggle with).

You can’t rest if you can’t relax and you can’t fully relax without knowing how to breathe properly. Try this hack out and see if it doesn’t improve things for you, physically, on a few different levels.

5. Put Some Sandalwood on Your Pressure Points

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If you like scents that are reminiscent of wood or amber with a hint of sweetness, sandalwood is gonna be right up your alley. And here’s the thing about it —there are physical and mental benefits that directly come from applying it to your body. From a resting standpoint, sandalwood helps to decrease anxiety levels. If it’s mixed with lavender oil, it can lower your cortisol levels as well. Since sandalwood also contains some pretty impressive anti-inflammatory properties, it can help you to sleep better (becauseinflammation and sleep deprivation are actually linked). Not to mention that if a part of what keeps you from being in a peaceful state is you’ve got some skin irritation or a skin-related issue like eczema or psoriasis going on,sandalwood is able to soothe that too.

And here’s the thing: if you apply some sandalwood to a pressure point like the top of your inner ear, the middle of your forehead, or the spot at the base of your thumb and gentle press, that can relax you even quicker becausethose are points on the body that help to relieve anxiety. Yep. Sandalwood for the win, everyone.

6. Play Board Games

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While more and more folks are out here giving younger and younger kids phones so that they can "fit in," studies reveal that longer screen time only increases a child’s chances of experiencing anxiety and depression. And while we’re on the topic of “unplugging” — when’s the last time that youplayed a board game? Aside from the fact that they increase your confidence levels while also being a lot of fun, board games can also help improve your mental health and reduce stress too. So, if you and your bae are a little tense these days or everyone in your house could stand to take a chill pill, pull a board game out. You might be surprised by how much more relaxed you will feel after doing so.

7. Have Sex in the Afternoon

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Listen, I’ve been writing about the benefits of sex for quite some time now and I promise you that the more that I learn, the more it baffles me that more folks don’t highly prioritize sex far more often than they tend to do. SMDH. I mean, just the mere fact thatscience backs that sex produces “feel good hormones” like endorphins and oxytocin, drops stress hormones (like cortisol) and directly promotes rest and relaxation — -these points alone should be enough of a reason to get some in, just as much as you possibly can!

And why am I shouting out the afternoon as opposed to the common go-to (at night) or even morning sex? Well, not only dopeople tend to be more energetic and mindful during coitus if it happens in the middle of the day, but sex during that intensifies your senses,complements a man’s surge of estrogen (which will make him want to cuddle more) and it makes things more spontaneous as well.

And just what time of day should you be trying to make all of this happen?Somewhere around 3 p.m. is good. I guess based on whatever time zone you’re in. #Elmoshrug

8. Drink Some Coconut Water

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If you’re like me and you think that water tastes like wet air, have you ever tried hydrating yourself with the help of some coconut water? Since it’s a good source of potassium and antioxidants, coconut water can do wonders if you’re looking for something that will help to settle your nerves, if you’re feeling a little frazzled, or if you need a bit of help with concentrating.

So, sip on some coconut water straight or treat yourself to a mocktail that contains it as a main ingredient. You can try out some delicious recipes by clickhere,here, andhere.

9. Massage Your Feet (with an Essential Oil)

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While reading an article about if feet are as sensitive as hands, it reminded me to share yet another resting hack for all who are curious.Since many reports state that there are as many as 200,000 nerve endings in our feet alone, it would make all the sense in the world thatreflexology (a type of massage that focuses on hands, ears, and feet especially) would be hella effective.

One of the reasons why I’m personally a fan of foot massages (even if it means that I have to give my own self one) is because it provides holistic benefits on a lot of levels. A foot massagehelps reduce pain, ease digestion, and decrease eye strain — and yes, it also helps you to relax more and sleep much better.

The only thing better than a “plain” foot massage? Applying a warm carrier oil like sweet almond or avocado to your feet after you’ve mixed it with an essential oil that is proven to reduce stress like lavender, bergamot,lemongrass, neroli, and ylang-ylang will significantly increase your quality of rest in record time. How? Well, whenoils are applied to your feet, you are able to absorb them into your system faster.

10. Take a Full Day Off

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Personally, I’m abiblical Seventh-Day Sabbath observer. I was born into that practice and even though, I identify of a disciple (John 8:31-32) now, I still do it with not one single regret (even at the expense of losing certain job offers, etc.). Taking a full day off (Friday sunset through Saturday sunset) helps me to rest, recalibrate, and reenergize in a way that is incomparable to anything else!

Even if Scripture/Hebrew culture isn’t your thing, I still encourage you to take a full 24-hour day off to do nothing but REST. If you live alone, of course, it’s easier than if you have a family. However, having a day when you can sleep in, eat late, walk in nature, have more than one round of quickie sex — do things that are associated with ease, tranquility, and calm…that makes it so much easier to handle the demands that are outside of your sanctuary (your home).

____

An author by the name of Daniel W. Josselyn once said, “Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair.”

The next time you need some rest, you know it and a part of you tries to talk you out of it, tell “it” to shut all the way up. You are doing no one any good if you’re not actively repairing yourself by resting.

Words to (always) live by.

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