I am not someone who has been very good at resting, sleeping yes, but resting, not really, and there is a difference. Rest, it is something we all need. Rest is defined as “an instance of resting, where work or movement is ceased in order to sleep, or recover strength”. So sleep is apart of the “rest” processes but not the whole part. I think the recovering strength part is what I have been working on and has had a huge impact on my life.
The National Sleep foundation in America as a great article 25 Random Facts About Sleep, which is very interesting. The two most surprising fact were. Number 15. The body never adjusts to shift work – so all you nurses, first responders and shift workers out there, well done… you are constantly fighting your body to not sleep! and Number 23. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
I am one of those people that you love to hate because I get 7-8 sometimes 9 hours of sleep everyday. I go to bed, and my body wakes up 8 hours later. In the past… I have had issues with sleep apnoea, but on losing weight that went away and I am back to normal again. Anyway enough about sleep what about rest. Well If you have been following me you will know that in the space of 2 years My mum died of cancer, I got married and then my dad passed away as well. So you may guess that rest really hasn’t been apart of the journey in the last two years, So I have had to learn in a hurry.
When I lived in Sydney and was the Head of Vocals at a School of Creative Arts (yes that was my other life) life was fast. Work, then private teaching (more work) the worship leading at church (technically serving but really more work), then I added in Study (more work) So when I handed over the reigns and moved back to the Gold Coast to be closer to my family (way before mum got sick) I really just needed a break FROM EVERYTHING.
Buy the time I moved back, I was so tired that even getting out of bed was difficult, finding a job was difficult as I just didn’t want to teach anymore, but that was what I was qualified in, so back to teaching I went until I just couldn’t. So… Thermomix entered my world and I began to focus on my other passion FOOD.
Food, I have always loved it, always love cooking it, eating it and serving it to everyone I meet, so it was kind a natural progression to change to working with food, and to be honest, it didn’t really feel like work and still doesn’t. In the first 2 years of returning to the Gold Coast I did get sick quite a bit with my body trying to recover from the last 15 years. In the end your body will just go NAH and stop you if you don’t rest and recover your strength.
When mum got sick (read about that here) I went into fight mode, so rest just wasn’t an option, then she passed away and I was looking after my dad full time and then planning a Wedding in 5 months. This was when I really discovered rest, as by 3.30pm in the afternoon I was done, and when I say done, absolutely no energy. Apart from heating up dad’s dinner, I was not good for anything, so I use it sit on my bed and read, lie on the lounge and watch Netflix or a video on foxtel.. but most of the time I would sit with dad and watch the afternoon game shows. We would call out the answers, have quality time together and stop. Dad had emphysema, so he really didn’t leave the house at all, as even the doctor came to see him at home in the end.
As apart of learning how to rest I also drove down to the beach and went for slow walks, grabbed fish and chips eating it and soaked up the sea air (trying to make sure the seagulls didn’t eat everything). I went for walks in nature and smelled that particular fresh air that only really happens when you are walking through a rain forest. I also often just put some music on or sat at the piano and played and just get lost in the music, these are all things that I have learnt help me to rest.
Mr N and I often go to the beach or something else we like to do is just go for a drive and explore, last week we ended up at this fabulous winery that we didn’t even know existed and now we can’t wait to go back and have lunch!
My dad has passed away now and my husband still works away 3-4 days a week, so I have lots of time to myself. I have discovered that not leaving the house for a whole day, making it tidy, maybe doing a load of washing and then sitting down to read a book with a cuppa and some home made goodies (even though I have done stuff) is a very restful day for me. Being home in the midst of shopping; delivering Thermomix; doing cooking experiences; catching up with friends; going to cafes and restaurants for reviews and recipe development makes my life very busy. So just sitting at home doing something that I love is so restful and renews my strength.
Now that I am married, and have this new found understanding of rest, I find that Mr N (hubby) has a really difficult time resting. I now have to plan things for us both to rest. Sometimes it is just going for a drive and exploring and other times it is spending some money and going away. We just got back from a wonderful time in Monteville at “The Spotted Chook” because we just needed some time away together, so we booked into a B&B for 4 nights and it was perfect! The best thing was waking up, walking to the breakfast room in our dressing gowns, then poping back to bed for another few hours of sleep on a full tummy! Bliss!
What do you do that renews your strength more than anything? I would love some helpful tips, as there is always something else that I can learn to do.
Thanks for reading!