I am prepared to accept that these thoughts are reflected by my age, but I am not convinced it is entirely based on the physical side of aging, rather the wisdom.  Rest is as important as exercise.  Rest is as important as busyness.  Rest is as important as living life to the full.  So why does it come with a side of guilt?  Or an association with laziness and wasting time?

You cannot pour from an empty cup.  Our bodies need sleep and relaxation to exercise, be busy and live our lives to the full.  Time to recharge the batteries should be treated with more respect.  It is ok to turn down an invitation that is not filling you with excitement, without having to justify your choice by having something more important in the diary.  If you would rather stay at home and have a bath, sleep, cook, sit on the sofa, and read or watch a movie, then do it. 

And let us teach our children to rest.  Let them be bored occasionally… that’s when imagination and creativity set in!  If your schedule is full, schedule the rest time as well as the appointments and clubs and activities.  Let them see it on the calendar so they know it is coming, and their relaxation time is protected.  Maybe limit individual screen time and have this time preserved for books, art, baking, board games, gardening, jigsaw puzzles or a family movie.  Walk the dog, let them have a mid-day bubble bath with toys or music to set the tone for a slow afternoon.

We can show our children how to rest by making time for ourselves, even one hour of conscious downtime in a busy weekend.  They will then learn that it is ok for us all to be our own priority sometimes.  It is not just self-care, it is self-respect. 


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