How Low-Quality Rest Leads to High-Level Burnout
And True Rest Leads to Full Life

“I’m so tired.” We hear this phrase as a greeting, a conversation starter, a complaint, and a whisper to ourselves. And a lot of times, it’s true. We ARE tired. Over the past year, I have found myself utterly exhausted more days than not. I used to not understand why. I get eight hours of sleep, drink two cups of coffee a day, and eat well - why should I be tired?

The equation didn’t add up for me until I read Present Over Perfect last month. I realized I was missing a key component of feeling energized: genuine rest. I found that even though I was taking time to “rest” each day, I was engaging in a low-quality form of rest I call “busy resting.” Busy resting is sneaky. You may look like you’re resting, and even feel like you’re resting, but it is not recharging or refilling. Busy resting is when you are devoting energy to both rest AND productivity - the worst form of multitasking.

In fear of falling behind or not doing “enough,” I busy rest a lot. For me, this looks something like cleaning my room while watching Netflix, doing homework in my pajamas, or blogging from bed. Truthfully, using my blog to “rest” (even though it is more of work) led me to feel burnt out on blogging. Work that you enjoy is still work! And it requires rest. I was slapped in the face with this reality when I was on spring break with my friends this past March. We were laying on the beach, listening to music. My friends were napping or sunbathing without a worry in the world and there I was -- trying to write a blog post on my phone. ON THE BEACH, trying to get work done.

Busy resting isn’t worth it.
We need genuine rest, and pockets of it. 


It’s easy to try to race through your day in hopes of a little rest before bed. Culture tells us to push through, produce, and keep working. But you see, this life is about rhythms, not races. Finding a daily rhythm of work and rest is what it takes to feel sustained, content, and get this -- NOT tired!

"This life is about rhythms, not races"


So, what can genuine rest look like in your life? A friend once told me to rest like I vacation in order to build a life that I don’t need to vacation from. What do you like to do when you’re on a break, completely free? Read a book for fun, lay outside, walk your dog, turn off your email? Make THAT part of your everyday!

Genuine rest for me is Airplane Mode, sitting on the kitchen floor, having my hair brushed, watching home movies, beach naps, going to the grocery store with my mom, cooking for pleasure (not necessity), neighborhood walks, deep breathing, petting my dogs, taking a bath, reading for FUN, flipping through a magazine, watching a show for the sake of watching the show, sitting on my porch, PRAYER, stretching, going on an ice cream date, and just sitting still, taking in my surroundings. All things that do not involve a computer, a task to cross-off, or a glance at a to-do list. Rest does not include social media, something which causes us to constantly analyze, compare, and try to see it all.

I’m learning to rest in rhythms and it’s making all the difference. I let go of the expectation of constant work, it does not serve me or my lifestyle. Resistance to rest comes from a place of fear, while true rest comes from a place of self-love. I'd much rather have the latter. Resting feels unnatural at times, foreign even, but I love that tension because to me it means growth.


Stay Sunny,