It’s a warm sticky day. The pool water glistens, beckoning temptingly. When the kids spot it, they quickly change from their clothes to swimsuits without hardly a “hello.”
“Let’s go swimming!” they call to each other.
Splash! Followed by plenty of giggles. In and out they went. Water fights. Squirting toys aimed at each other. More giggles.
“Look at me! I’m swimming on my back.”
“Look at me! I’m floating.”
“Let’s have a water fight.”
And on and on it went.
Coolness in the heat of the day.
But soon the heat combined with exercise took its toll. Now the giggles turned to cries of frustration and anger.
“Don’t splash me!”
“Stop kicking your legs!”
“I don’t want to play with you!”
Now I became the referee instead of the lifeguard. Now I was spending more time disciplining than enjoying their fun.
Looking at the clock and the height of the sun, it was time for lunch. A picnic lunch so they could dry off and warm up. Their shivering and blue lips a dead giveaway that pool time was over, for now.
The bickering, tears, and angry outbursts continued through lunch. I looked forward to rest time, even though the kids protested.
“I’m not tired,” she cried and yawned.
“I want to swim some more,” he yelled as he stomped his foot.
“I’m too big for a nap,” she informed me. All three feet six inches of her attempting to stand as tall as possible.
As much as they needed the rest, and probably sleep, I needed it too. If truth be told. And I secretly hated to admit it, too.
Here are three reasons why it’s important to rest each day:
- Change of pace. Whether you are working hard or playing hard, we all need to change our pace during the day. If you are looking at your computer screen, step away. Your eyes, your mind, your body need a break from that position. If you’ve been playing hard, your body needs time to recuperate and recharge.
- Change of scenery. If you’ve been in the sun all day, playing or doing physical work, your body can use the time to refresh and cool down. If you’ve been sitting at a desk, it’s a good idea to go outside to get some fresh air, move around a bit, and breathe deeply. Not only will this invigorate your body, but your mind will feel refreshed as well.
- Change of focus. Those of us that spend the majority of our day in activities that require concentration need to give our brains a chance to rest. We can do this by going for a walk (change of scenery), listening to music with our eyes closed, or reading a book that has nothing to do with our work. Those of us that spend the majority of our day in physical labor need to give our bodies a rest. We can read a book, sit down and put our feet up, get inside and take a nap. The key is to change our focus.
It’s healthy to have a specified rest period each day.
For some, that will mean actually taking a nap. For some that will mean time spent reading, or drawing, or playing with Legos™ or anything that provides the three items listed above. I would encourage you to not default to electronics during this time—let your kids flex their imagination muscle. Whatever the quiet looks like, they’ll be rested and happier and so will everyone around them.
As a young mom, I learned this habit was important not only for my children but also for me. A rested mom is a much calmer and energetic mom. On days I practiced this habit, life flowed more smoothly in our house. Not so much on days I neglected this habit for whatever reason.
Summertime is a great time to develop this habit, for you and your kids. If you haven’t been taking time to rest, start with 30 minutes. The key is quiet and rest. In fact, developing this habit also strengthens your ability to be comfortable in your own presence.
Take up the challenge today to develop a rest habit. I’d love to know if you are doing this or will take up the challenge.
Capture the extra-ordinary in the ordinary,
Kirsten D. Samuel
Aftershock Recovery Coach
8-week Program, Custom-paced Coaching, Remote, or In-person Sessions