The Art of Rest

Jan 16, 2021

Our lives are filled with noise. It’s getting harder & harder to find quiet moments to simply Be.

Our offices are open plan, our Slack or Messenger apps are always on, someone pops over & asks “do you have 5 minutes?” we spend half or more of our day in meetings & most of our communication happens over email.

When we do have a moment to ourselves we spend it scrolling through our social feeds. Meanwhile, the minutes, hours and days of our life slip away.

We need quiet time to recharge our bodies & minds. We need it if we want to be creative & innovative in our thinking. If we want to become more present to what’s going on around us.

By cultivating mindfulness & creating space for quiet moments, we become more socially aware & better at regulating our emotions.

We learn to respond rather than react. It helps us become more curious about the world, and others. It can makes us nicer human beings.

Whilst there’s a lot of noise we can’t do anything about, there are a few ways we can turn down the volume to give ourselves a break:

1. Create a quiet morning ritual.

I’ve written about this in the past. 20 minutes of quiet time before the rest of the house wakes is an amazing way to start the day. This might mean making a cup of tea & sitting quietly, doing nothing. It might mean going for a 20 minute walk – without headphones. It might mean 20 minutes of meditation. Find something that works for you. And leave your phone in another room if you think you’ll be tempted to scroll.

2. Read a novel.

Not on a kindle or iPad – a real book where you turn the page. Cup of tea & a cookie optional.

3. Get out in nature.

One of my clients wakes before dawn a couple of days a week to meet his best friend for a walk in their national park. Sometimes they talk about what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes they walk quietly together, appreciating the beauty of the breaking day with nothing but their footsteps & the birds to break the silence.

4. Take a break from your phone.

Take yourself to your favourite cafe with that book I mentioned. Leave your phone at home. Break the habit of the constant need to engage on social media. I guarantee you’ll feel happier for it.