I Scheduled Rest Time This Week And Here’s How My Mood Improved

What is rest? No, this isn’t me being funny or ironic. It’s not a jocular statement I’m uttering as I pour my third cup of coffee before noon or quickly tap away at my keyboard at 11 o’clock at night. It’s a genuine question. 

I think ‘rest’ cannot be a blanketed term. Because rest is different for everyone, just like exercise, eating, being social, and having fun. People vary on how they rest and what allows them to reset their social batteries. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Usually for my Markey Tries It articles, I have a pretty clear idea of what I’m doing. But this week was hard because I don’t think I know how to rest. Don’t get me wrong — I sleep, I slow down, and I do have lazy days. But I don’t remember the last time I had a completely restful day. So this week, I changed that. 

P.S. Thank you, Abby, for this suggestion! If you have more suggestions about what I should do, let me know! This was an amazing week for me!

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Defining Rest

 
 
 
 
 
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The first thing I had to do for this article was to define the word “rest.” I love defining things because I’m a huge nerd and I miss writing research papers some days. 

Dictionary.com defines ‘rest’ as:

“Verb 

  • To refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing

  • To relieve weariness by cessation of exertion or labor.”

The root of the word comes from the Middle English resten which basically means to stop any motion of work and to “be undisturbed, be free from what disquiets.” The Old French word rester means to stand firm. While this might seem the opposite of the lackadaisical posture people often associate with rest, I think I’m going to find a way to stand firm in my rest this week.


The Types of Rest

 
 
 
 
 
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I found this post a few weeks ago, and while it really correlates to each enneagram type, I formed my week around it. There is no one way to rest. I personally ‘rest’ by working out and watching YouTube. I think it’s unhealthy and limiting for us and our needs to simply say resting is taking a nap and that’s it. 

But, I wanted to genuinely try all of these versions of resting this week, even though they may not be how I personally ‘rest’, so let’s go!


The Hard Thing About Resting 

Spoiler alert: I wrote this article when I was traveling home for Thanksgiving break…not the most restful time of the year. This week had the potential to be a bit crazy (don’t they all) and I had to avoid the mindset of ‘do everything you need to do the first 2 days of the week so you don’t have to do anything the rest of the week’. That’s hustle culture and toxic productivity and negates all the goodness that rest brings. I did attempt to have some restful moments before I flew home, but they were a little scattered. 

Anyway, here was my week resting by each enneagram type!


Enneagram 1: Do Something Just For Fun

I loved this. I can’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and so often just charge ahead doing things I need to do. I had multiple opportunities to do something just for fun, but I think the best one was when I spent the day shopping. I didn’t need to go shopping, but I loved spending the day doing nothing productive and just being out on the town with my mom. 

I often get caught up in the idea that I can only go shopping if I have to buy something. But that’s not the case. And while it’s not ideal to dally in every aisle for an hour (I’m looking at you, mom), it’s nice to know there’s nothing else I need to do and I’m allowed to just be.


Enneagram 2: Pay Attention to my Own Needs

Oof, this one was tougher than it needed to be. Again, I’m so grateful this challenge came this week because when you’re with family and especially when it’s the holidays, you forget yourself. I called my partner early one morning and he could hear the stress in my voice. That probably told me the most, when he could hear my stress and I couldn’t. So I spent the next two hours going slowly and doing things that brought me joy. I tuned into a Taylor Swift dance workout, read some online magazines, and ate a huge breakfast. It was nice to step away from my tasks and just breathe. 


Enneagram 3: Have an Unscheduled Day

 
 
 
 
 
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This was really hard for me. If we’re going by the enneagram, it makes sense that the ‘3’ one was the hardest, considering I’m a strong wing 3. I schedule my days. No, that’s false. My days are color-coded, planned to the minute (and usually 24 hours in advance), mostly repetitive, and perfectly executed. From the second I wake up to the second I go to bed, my day is planned. 

Unironically, the one thing I hate about going home (and to my partner’s house) is that my day is no longer planned and I can’t bring my whiteboard and 15 expo markers with me to color-code it either. 

There were many unplanned days this week. While Thanksgiving and traveling, for the most part, are planned, most of the days weren’t very predictable, and I (unwittingly) had many unscheduled days! 

The interesting part is this: I schedule my days to help me be less stressed and to utilize the time I have. But on the days when I had to push work or some daunting task off, I wasn’t less productive. I still worked, I just didn’t let it take over my life. It was quite shocking. 


Enneagram 4: Saying No to Obligations

 
 
 
 
 
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This one was hard because I am a genuine people pleaser. I will suffer through almost anything to not make a scene. But I still have boundaries. One of those boundaries is my bedtime. I don’t know when this happened, but there came a point where 10 o’clock became ‘late’. 10:30 is ‘pushing it,’ 11 is ‘time for bed,’ and 11:30 is ‘if I’m not in bed, lights out, TikTok on, something is very wrong.’ So when I looked at the clock on Friday night and it said 11:45 and we were in downtown Nashville at a rooftop bar, I looked at my partner and said, “I’m going home. I love you, but I need to go.” 

While it was tough because we were with friends and I felt slightly slimy for taking my partner (also my ride) away from them, I knew that if I stayed out any later, I wouldn’t be okay. This was the most uncomfortable version of resting. It was taking my priorities and my feelings and putting them above others. I wouldn’t suggest you do it all the time, but when you’re at a bar in Nashville at 11:45, maybe that’s when you pull out your ‘resting’ card. 


Enneagram 5: Going Somewhere I Want to Go (Alone)

The “alone” part is really hard for me. I struggle with a lot of anxiety and sometimes going out alone can trigger it.

But I wanted to do this challenge, so I went to Aldi. I understand that I sound so lame right now, but I love Aldi. I spend way too much time looking at the “Here today, gone tomorrow” section, I browse the aisles for hours, and I usually have a podcast going when I’m alone. I loved it. I know it’s not a glamorous decision, but it was restful and peaceful and I 100% got some amazing deals.


Enneagram 6: Taking a Nap

I don’t take naps and I’m honestly not sure if this counted as one, but I took a nap at 10 a.m. this morning. My dog woke me up before I wanted to face the day and he’s a husky, so he started howling immediately. I had no choice but to get out of bed and start the day. Two hours later, I went to my bedroom to grab something, and he was asleep on my bed again. I guess I’m taking cues from a dog now because I snuggled up with him and we fell asleep for a quick power nap! Honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.


Enneagram 7: Being with People Who Let Me be Me

I really love this idea of rest. No matter how comfortable your pants are, no matter how much you nap or take breaks, if you’re not comfortable around the people in your life, you’re not at rest.

Being with my partner is truly when I feel the most at rest. While we were separated for a few days, we did get to have some quiet, quality time together. We watched our shows (The Great British Baking Show and Modern Family) and just melted into ourselves. He usually comes over at the end of the day to be with me and it’s a wonderful drop-off time from my work mode. Seeing him means that I don’t have to perform anymore. I don’t have to work or worry or plan, I just have to choose what food I want to eat and what comfy pants I want to put on and I can fully be myself. This is, and always will be, my favorite form of rest.


Enneagram 8: Taking a Walk in Nature

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I’ve grown too accustomed to walking around my house for exercise and it needs to stop. Disclaimer: I freeze immediately, so when the temperature began to drop, I became an indoor girl. But it is beautiful outside and going home for Thanksgiving meant I would get some quality walking time with my mom and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the husky. It was so nice to take a break, leave our phones, and just be present with nature. I think the biggest thing I’m learning from this challenge is that being still and resting means that you’ll be more present in general.  


Enneagram 9: Quality Time with a Friend

I’m using my sister for this one. My sister and I are eight years apart, so we seem less like sisters and more like friends as we get older. But isn’t that the best thing? We went out to a bar with my partner tonight and it was so fun. It was great to have quality time with the two and talk about things that only a sister and friend can really know. It was a good reset, especially because it was right before everyone would come over and our house would be full of distant relatives.  


My Results

 
 
 
 
 
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I loved this week as a little reset time for my life. It was great to almost have to slow down and take time for myself to be present and rested. I know I’ll often get stressed out when plans don’t go my way or I accidentally take a nap at 10 in the morning, but this week, I just embraced it and smiled through it. And it worked. 

We weren’t made to constantly be on the grind. It was good to remember that slowing down and being present are just as important as showing up for the holidays. I enjoyed this week so much and absolutely needed it. 

While I might not do everything I did this week in the future, I will be more aware of what brings me joy and what activities make me feel the most like myself.

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Did you have a restful holiday? What is your favorite way to rest? Comment below!


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