A Day of Rest

-Toni Sicola, Executive Editor, Health and Wellness Professional

In searching for insight for today’s blog, I came across an interview with Dr. Matthew Sleeth, former emergency room surgeon and author of 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. In the interview, Sleeth talks about his own family and their rule of having one day of rest each week where his children didn’t study and where he didn’t do work.

I have to confess that when I first saw the name of his book, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to work 6 days a week! This guy is crazy! I work 24/5, so I must be ahead of the game.” And then I realized what he truly means by “work.” Chores count as work. All of those things that I save up for the weekend like cleaning the house, doing my laundry, and running all over town to get everything I need for the next week — that’s all work! Unless I leave town, most weeks I work every day! Time to rethink some things…

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Last weekend, my day of rest involved creating a succulent garden in my back yard. Many more days of rest will be enjoyed sitting out here with a book in the sun.

Sleeth doesn’t define rest in his book strictly as being still, although for some that could be what it means. If you have a desk job where you aren’t free to move around, perhaps your rest would involve taking a hike in nature or gardening in your yard. Maybe if you have a job that involves a lot of screen-time, rest for you would be enjoying a screen-free day with no TV or computer. If your job doesn’t allow for a lot of imagination, maybe enjoying a novel in the park or abstract panting is rest for you. Whatever is rejuvenating, relaxing, and restorative counts as rest.

For my husband and I, resting is connecting to nature — hiking, rock climbing, and basking in the sun. This picture was taken at Luther Spires in Tahoe before an afternoon of climbing.

As we move into the new season with the blooming flowers, the clearer skies, the warmer air, and the greener grass, take some time to rest, whatever that means for you. Sleeth’s 24/6 approach inspired me to reorganize my week. If I set it up so that I do small chores each night, I’ll only need part of one weekend day to finish up what I didn’t get to during the week. This way, I can truly and fully soak in my rest day.

What will you do to ensure you get your rest day?

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