Living a Rhythm of Work, Rest, and Play
The first Thursday of every month, I go to a discussion group at my neighbor Cammy’s. We talk about all kinds of things, from container gardening to good books to caring for aging parents. Y’all, guess what this month’s topic was? Self-care! After a couple of really challenging weeks helping my mom recover from a broken hip, I needed some fresh help with self-care. I jotted down a few thoughts from our facilitator, Angie, and would love to share them with you.
Here’s the deal:
Living in a rhythm of work, play and rest is a big part of taking care of yourself. We need these rhythms in order to function well.
We know it well, right? In fact, we can get so focused on work and productivity that we often dismiss rest and play as if they are optional. But there are consequences for all work and no play. Have you experienced any consequences from being overworked?
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body are far-reaching, as you probably know too well. A lack of rest can cause:
We know the importance rest, and what life is like when we don’t get it. This is a huge reason why we do what we do, so you can rest better and experience a higher quality of life.
Of course we hope your weighted blanket is helping you rest more.
What else are you doing to sleep well?
Looking at your calendar, how often do you rest?
What do you believe about rest?
What brings you rest? (Reading, watching a fire, practicing silence?)
I love this suggestion from Angie: start the work day by enjoying silence. Light a candle and practice silence for 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes, give everything to God: children, spouse... everything you are worried about. Breathe and clear your mind. It’s amazing how 5 minutes can change your whole day!
Another important rhythm is play.
Psychologist Dr. Stewart Brown defines play as something without a specific purpose, all-consuming, and fun. Dr. Brown believes in the importance of play so much he founded the National Play Institute. His work has shown that people who play to tend be better problem solvers, less rigid, more creative, and more imaginative than people who do not play.
Play is way more important than we ever dreamed!
In a study on play, scientists took two group of rats. One group was suppressed from play, while the other group was encouraged to play. Next, a cat-scented collar was introduced. Both groups fled the collar. The rats that didn’t play hid themselves and never came out of hiding. But the play-full rats eventually sniffed around and found other ways of escape. This shows a direct connection between play and creativity
Dr. Brown’s TED talk about the importance of play is very good - I encourage you to check it out.
So, what do you do that is considered play?
What keeps you from playing?
Who is someone in your life who is good at playing?
Take some time this week to care for yourself by playing. What will that look like?
I hope these ideas and questions will help you find a better balance of work, rest, and play this week. Let me know how it goes!
If you are interested in reading the two previous entries to this series, click the links below:
The Importance of Self-Care Part 1