I love rest time.
The kids and I have rest time from 1-3 almost every day and have since my kids were babies. When they were little this was their naptime. Now that they are no longer nappers, they have plenty of ways to spend rest time in their rooms: they can listen to audio books, they can rest, they can read, they can play Legos, dolls, color, etc.. My two older girls (ages 10 &11) have a bit more freedom since they are more independent. They can play outside for part of their rest time or bake, but I still like them to have at least 30 min. of downtime in their room.
A pause in our day is essential.
The space that afternoon rest time provides renews and refreshes us in preparation for the rest of the day. But when I initiated rest time back when my oldest dropped her nap, I did it for the sake of survival.
Four kids in five years: need I say more? And as an introvert, I need plenty of downtime. Add homeschooling all four children, and rest during the day is a must.
Rest time creates room in my children's lives for creative play, quiet, rest, reading - which are all beautiful things. Rest time allows me to rest too, but I also have used it to read, to make phone calls, to exercise, to blog, or to do anything else I want to get done.
Having a blog and personal growth goals plus being a wife and mom has meant that my "rest time" has become more task-driven than soul replenishing.
During rest time today, I plugged away at emails and my to-do list, but my gut reminded me: I need some soul care. I was in go mode and out of balance. We have had a lovely but busy week. I know tomorrow is going to be a busy day and that we won't get much rest.
So, instead of plugging through these tasks, I paused. I asked myself what would feed my soul.
I decided to browse Etsy for world or US maps to hang on our walls. I want fairly large, cute, canvas maps for push pins I'll use to document where we have traveled. I turned on some fun music and searched. Such a small change of course ended up feeling like a retreat.
I still am experimenting and am curious to learn the things that truly feed my soul. I have always thought that awareness of what feeds my soul should be intuitive. But, it isn't and I haven't always listened to my intuition. It takes some time and practice to tune in to it. :) I am learning that soul care activities are usually pretty simple actions that are far more rewarding than demanding.
Today's self-care - my quest for maps - led to my dreaming of traveling as the kids get older. While I looked at maps, I also looked up travel quotes, and got excited about what the next season of life holds and inspired to prepare for it now.
What triggers do you notice when you go into "task" mode? What are your favorite self-care activities? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
I think what is so fun about the self-help/awareness journey is that once you focus on a specific area, it starts showing up all around your life. It's like when you are going to buy a new car and then you notice that car everywhere. I find that personal growth is also this way.
I recently felt like there was a change on the horizon for this upcoming homeschooling year, but more than the actual school work, I felt like our family dynamics would be shifting. This is probably part of the natural progression as our youngest recently turned 6 and our oldest is 11. It's like I woke up one day and realized, huh, I think I need to manage the kids less, and they need to start self-governing. So I decided to go through this course to help me journey through this transition. For example, each morning the kids are to be ready for the day by 8:30, this includes getting their rooms cleaned, morning hygiene done, kitchen chores completed, and eating breakfast. They all know what needs to be done and can do it effectively on their own. But, I was micro-managing them, constantly reminding them vs. letting them either soar on their own or not. Me stepping back and letting them fly or fail on their own has been a simple tweak but has changed the tone of our morning.
Within a week or so another book came across my path that also aligns with these desires on my heart. I love when things align! For those of you who are curious, the book is The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent's Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence. I loved this book and gleaned so many great insights.
Even with all this clarity, I had to get into laser focus mode, to get beyond knowing what to do, but actually doing it. I had a little extra motivation, you know, one of those days where it seems like no one was listening to anything I was saying. :) I am familiar with this trigger, but I was thankful to have some new tools for this new season.
And what is the result? This has been brewing for the last couple of weeks, but laser mode came last night, and already our house is more peaceful and focused. I wish I could bottle this. Children are so quick to adapt when we raise the bar for their behavior. With a few gentle tweaks they were responding appropriately and quickly which makes family life so much more lovely. Win win!
What area are you growing and would like a little boost?
What are your go to strategies to turn a longing into action? I would love to hear from you.
Hey, I'm Julie. I love books, coffee shops, traveling, and exploring. Homeschooling Mama to 4, wife of 15 years. Enjoying the journey and learning to add a bit more of summer into my everyday life.