15 Practices for Rest and Renewal

15 Practices for Rest and Renewal

Rhythms of rest and renewal should be a standard part of life but, unintentionally, a higher value is placed on being busy. The tendency is to fill our schedules to the max.

To agree to yet another volunteer activity when you lack capacity. 

To tell a friend you have time to hangout while causing your family to take a backseat.

To undertake a new initiative at work because it might be what sets you apart for the promotion you don’t truly want.

Just as there is a time and place for hard work and achievement, so too is there a time and place for rest and renewal. “Self care” is not meant to be a luxury.

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Psych Central, What Self-Care Is – and What It Isn’t

Not only is rest essential to our health and wellbeing, it’s a biblical practice. God rested and in doing so modeled for us the way we were meant to live.

“By the seventh day God has finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

Genesis 2:2

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner reside in your towns.”

Exodus 20:8-10

The point of a Sabbath or period of intentional rest? To keep our eyes focused on what matters most and to place our trust in God. A period meant for restoration and renewal of our mind, body, and spirit.

You, like me, will forever be a work in progress when it comes to prioritizing rest and renewal. It goes against our natural inclination as humans – but it starts with making a conscious effort and recognizing the individual tendencies we have that cause us to fight against worldly norms.

It’s impossible to seek and find the abundance God has to offer us in this life when we fail to pause and allow ourselves the opportunity to be restored.

What constitutes rest and renewal for me likely looks very different from what constitutes rest and renewal for you. Below I’m sharing a list of activities I use for rest and renewal. Use these ideas to serve as inspiration as you build your personal list.

Practices for Rest and Renewal

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No. 1: Work on a puzzle while listening to music or a podcast.

Recommended puzzles and podcasts:

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden 500 Piece Puzzle

Clementoni Forum Romanum 2000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Work and Play with Nancy Ray

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

The Balanced Life with Robin Long

No. 2: Get lost in a good book.

Review the What I Read blog posts for recommendations.

No. 3: Write a handwritten note to someone I am thankful for or who has influenced my life in a positive way.

No. 4: Take a trip down memory lane as I organize photos or create a photo book.

Recommended resources: Artifact Uprising, Shutterfly

No. 5: Brainstorm gift ideas for upcoming weddings, showers, birthdays, or holidays.

No. 6: Create a Pinterest board that will serve as inspiration for an upcoming project.

No. 7: Spend time with my family and close friends.

No. 8: Learn a new board game or complete a crossword puzzle or sudoku.

Favorite two-player games: Patchwork, Skull King, Lost Cities

Favorite multi-player games: Ticket to Ride – Europe, Cover Your Assets

No. 9: Create a piece of art using colored pencils, watercolor, or color in a coloring book while sipping a cup of tea.

No. 10: Practice gratitude by journaling specific things for which I am grateful.

No. 11: Take a nap.

No. 12: Read the Bible and journal.

No. 13: Buy discounted flowers at the grocery store and arrange them.

No. 14: Meditate or pray while diffusing essential oils.

No. 15: Spend time out in nature by sitting in a park with a book or going on a hike.

Share in the comments how you plan to incorporate rest and renewal as a standard rhythm in your life.