“A good rest is half the job.” – Yugoslavian Proverb

There’s no time like the present to remember this sage advice as we enter the holiday season and wind down towards the end of the year. And what a year at that.

With the overriding belief these days that busier is better, our current hectic lifestyles offer little respite. Most of us find ourselves caught up in the rat race – with constant deadlines to meet, never-ending to-do lists and an increase in work-life pressure due to technological demands. How often do we feel, “too busy” or “tired” rather than, “well” or even just, “fine”?

And yet, rest is often frowned upon. Earmarked for when everything else has been caught up with and done… when we finally have time, “one day”.

We need to change this mindset.

Physician, Dr. Shannon McDonald says, “Making time to rest and relax is often overlooked as part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is actually essential to our health and wellness. That’s because rest is not only physical but mental, emotional, and spiritual – it’s nourishment for both body and soul.

Taking regular time to rest and be mindful allows us to renew our inner strength and balance so we can better focus on our lives, the people in our lives, and our work. (And these rest times are in addition to getting enough quality sleep every night.) The benefits of rest have been extensively studied and proven.”

The book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, shows author, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, dismissing the myth that the harder we work, the more favourable our outcome will be. 

His inspiration came when he noticed a paradox in the lives of a number of extremely creative and successful people, including the likes of Charles Darwin, Maya Angelou and Stephen King. The common denominator being, not just their passion for their work and the pattern of working only relatively few hours a day, but working intensely for these few hours and then balancing it with resting deliberately in different ways. 

Although resting is innate, it is also something we can treat as a skill. It does not suffice to just mindlessly flick through Netflix or flit from one social engagement to the next. We need to get away from our screens and connect with ourselves, for example, by spending quality time in nature, exercising and/or meditating.  

“Deliberate rest,” as Pang calls it, is usually vigorous and mentally engaging, as opposed to being passive. We need to learn more effective ways to rest and then schedule it in so that we do it right and don’t forget! It is, paradoxically, necessary for being creative and getting work done.

We look forward to connecting and working with you again in the coming year. Until then, enjoy a good rest. 

Happy new year from us all at WellsFaber.