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.
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.