The meaning of meaningful rest

If you have been reading any of my recent posts, you will know that I have been in search of more rest recently. Meaningful rest, to be precise. After years of severely neglecting rest, it had become time for me to put it back into the spotlight. But prioritising meaningful rest has not come easily to me. I was so used to always doing something that I have had to figure out how to really implement this whole ‘nothingness’ in an orderly way. January has been an incredibly restful month for example, whereas February saw me quickly slipping into old habits by filling up my diary to the brim. The beauty of having to figure out rest from scratch again means I have learned a few things along the way. Things about what it means to rest and what makes rest meaningful to me. Let’s chat the meaning of meaningful rest.

Find out what works for you

During this process of uncovering meaningful rest, I have had to understand what recharged my batteries. The problem with rest is that it looks different for everyone. Whereas some people love taking baths, other people get fidgety and anxious when they lay in a warm pool of liquid. (I would be an ‘other people’). February showed me that socialising – although fun – does not count as meaningful rest for me. In January I had very little social engagements and felt super energised. In February I was constantly meeting with friends and it drained my batteries very quickly. As an introvert, I already knew that but seeing the difference in these two months really hit home how important it is to understand what actually lets you rest.

Stop feeling guilty

If you are anything like me, the previous point might be easier said than done. I noticed that I felt very guilty whenever I took an entire weekend off (the audacity!) to just rest. It wouldn’t take long for my mind to think about the flights I had been meaning to book, or the blog posts I was supposed to schedule, or the friend I had been meaning to catch up with. And for some reason, my mind would assume that I had to do these things right at that moment. Here are my two cents for when this happens during your time of rest. Take a note of the task so you don’t worry about forgetting it. That is easy enough, right? Much harder is to then accept doing this task at a later point. To not feel guilty about not filling your space with things to do. To just be. This one is a tricky one to master, and takes practice. When I feel guilt coming up, I just try to sit with the feeling and release it. (A good book on this topic is Letting Go by Dr. Hawkins.) Again, easier said than done. But practice does help with this one. I promise.

Schedule in meaningful rest

Once you know what constitutes as meaningful rest, you actually have to schedule in some time for it. In my case, I know that I will feel most rested after a weekend of no socialising and no screen time whatsoever. But between seeing friends, blogging and doing admin, it is difficult to actually end up with a weekend like that. Particularly if I don’t plan for it. I have found that when I block out one weekend a month where I truly do nothing, I can plan my blogging, admin and seeing friends earlier in the month. Whatever your version of meaningful rest is, making sure you block out good chunks of time for this rest – and defending that time vigorously -, ensures that the meaningful rest actually gets implemented into your life.

Schedule in space

The last thing I have learned about meaningful rest is that no matter what way you recharge (whether it is with friends, in a hot bath or hiking a mountain), we can all benefit from more space. Instead of filling our diaries with back-to-back appointments, tasks, and to-do lists, we can just leave some time blank. Time that can be occupied with spontaneity and creativity. There are so many little pockets of time that we could just let be if we weren’t so quick to fill them with ‘shoulds’. Trust me, you don’t need to have your teeth checked, your car fixed, your taxes filed and your blog posts for the next three months written all in the same week. You will see that by creating more space into your time you won’t accomplish less – you will probably just become more productive – but life will become just that little less stressful.

What are your ways to rest in a meaningful way?


  1. March 18, 2019 / 6:37 pm

    Goed dat je erachter bent wat jou nu echt rust geeft. Voor mij is het ook een kwestie van genoeg me time inplannen. Ik heb doordeweeks in de avonden weinig afspraken en probeer in het weekend ook altijd wel wat tijd vrij te laten. Daar heb ik ook echt behoefte aan!
    Sanne recently posted…Mijn miracle morning routine in de maakMy Profile

    • Lizzyfied
      March 24, 2019 / 11:58 am

      Wat goed dat je tijd vrijlaat om rust in te plannen. Ik ben dit nu ook steeds vaker bewust aan het doen. Xx

  2. March 21, 2019 / 7:34 am

    Wat een mooi artikel! Het is absoluut heel waardevol om te weten wat voor jou rustgevend is en wat jou daarbij helpt. Een weekend of een dag blocken is ook iets wat mij zou helpen. Vaak vult mijn agenda zichzelf anders bijna automatisch met verplichtingen. Ik merk vooral nu ik in een verhuizing zit hoe belangrijk rust is. De eerste week ben ik mezelf aardig voorbijgelopen. Toen ik op de laatste dag een klein momentje voor mezelf plande, merkte ik direct al wat verschil.
    Romy recently posted…65 fijne dingen om te doen als je je rot voeltMy Profile

    • Lizzyfied
      March 24, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Ah, ik herken heel erg dat een agenda zich makkelijk vanzelf vult. En inderdaad had ik bij de verhuizing in November ook echt veel te weinig me-time. Wel goed dat je toch kleine rustmomentjes kunt inplannen en daar ook echt verschil in ziet.

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