When you work hard, you need to rest smart. All of us have experienced that feeling when you need a holiday from your holiday. And sometimes that’s okay, when the point of your holiday is to experience new things or to get work done around the house. But when you really need to rest, you need to make it count.
Plan Your Rest
Rest is a science, so my husband says. There is a way to do it so that you get maximum benefit and are maximally ready to hit the ground running at the end of it. Whether you can afford to go away, or whether you stay at home, you need to go through certain stages of rest, and you have to do them in the right order.
1. First, Recover.
When we arrived at our holiday destination this June, the car was only just unpacked and I barely managed to get the freezer and fridge stuff put away before I collapsed on a sunny patch on the carpeted floor in the bedroom and fell fast asleep. When we arrive at the start of our break, we need first to recover. This recovery stage looks like a lot of sleep, and a lot of doing nothing. Like an injury, complete rest needs to come before you can start to rebuild strength. Yes, we have kids, and yes, they want to do a million things with us when they see we’re ‘free’ and lying around doing nothing. But we prep them for this stage of our holiday. We tell them that on Day 3 or 4, we are going to play board games with them, and watch them do whatever it is they want us to watch, and maybe even go on outings together. But we also tell them that the first few days we are going to do absolutely nothing, and they are free to play and entertain themselves. They know that the more freedom they give us on the first few days, the sooner we will be ready to engage with them. Making a noise early in the morning is a serious offence!
2. Then, Recreation.
This is the fun memory-making part of the holiday. No thinking about or talking about work and home and budgets and responsibilities. Just fun with the family. If we read, we read recreational stuff - not “How to Be a Great Leader” or anything like that. Not yet. In fact, the kids pretty much lead this time. We play games, we go for walks, we have afternoon rests, we watch movies, everyone gets to do what they want. This holiday we had a Silly Olympics, and did egg-and-spoon races and egg-throwing and three-legged races. Kade and I smashed Dad and Kiara in the three-legged race. We even had a dive finish. Not that we needed it - they were half a field behind. This is the part of the holiday that we want the kids to remember. But it’s only fun if you have gone through stage one of recovery properly.
3. And now, Preparation.
The last thing you want is to get back from an amazing holiday to find that you are completely unprepared - you hit the ground running but then you trip and land on your face. So once the kids’ love-tanks are full, and we’ve had a nice amount of time without thinking about real, adult life, it’s time to prepare. We’re still sleeping late if we need to and taking it easy, but we start to talk about changes we are hoping to make in the next season. We start to read books that will strengthen us and propel us forward. We’re praying and dreaming with God. I write a blog and make commitments to myself and you to keep them coming weekly like I used to do! (insert emoji with monkey face covering eyes)
And so, tomorrow, back to work! Ready to run hard and fast until next time! I hope you get a break soon and are able to do the same. Until then, hang in there! May the sunny spot on the carpet catch you when you fall.