Rest is Healing

Whenever I’m working in my home office, Puff and Zoey will curl up on their beds next to my chair and sleep contentedly, sometimes for hours at a time. They look adorable, there’s no scuffles between them, and it lets me focus on my projects du jour.

I understood the reasons for this from a behavioral standpoint. When our dogs do not feel pressured to tend to important pack survival roles we’re inadvertently neglecting, they’re perfectly happy lounging around most of the day. When they’re bonded to us and trust us, they also enjoy just being near us.

But after I found myself shrugging off a few responsibilities of my own and opting instead to spend my afternoon in the sunshine on the shore of beautiful Lake Ontario the other day, I was curious what a dog would have to say to about the art of doing nothing, or at least nothing of substance. Especially since, once I did finally come home, I dodged the to-do list I’d convinced myself I’d tackle in favor of watching a movie with Dan. (In my defense, it was a really good movie.)

Rest is Healing | A blog post by Jill of Ark

“Hey Puff?” I asked after noticing her stir. “Why do you sleep so much when I’m in here? Don’t you ever get bored?”

“Nope. Rest is healing,” she sleepily replied.

“Of course it’s healing, but you already rest with us through the whole night,” I reminded her. Thinking about how much time she and Zoey are asleep when we’re together started to bring up some more guilt to pile on top of the guilt I was already feeling about not getting my work done.

“But when I rest throughout the day, I’m all charged up for important things.”

“Important things?”

“Yes! Important things like going for walks and practicing our tricks and all our other exciting adventures when I never know what’s going to happen!”

Bless her sweet, wise little heart.

“Plus it feels reeeeeallly good to not have to worry about anything for a while” she added before curling up and settling back into to her pillow.

Even though I’ve conducted multiple experiments in the “less is more” mindset with favorable results, feeling like I’m only as good as what I can get done in a day has been one of the hardest habits to break. But the constant stress of trying to cram everything in, finish it on time, and keep track of everything in the interim has caused (and continues to cause) so much harm to my body that I KNOW I need to.

When I looked back at my list, I realized that not one of the items I’d insisted had to be completed that day were on an actual deadline. The only pressure I was under had been imposed on me by myself.  They weren’t really that important in the scheme of things, either–not nearly as important as taking care of myself so that I could make sure our family’s basic needs are consistently met.

Now you know why this blog post is being published a day later than usual. I love writing and sharing with you all and it’s important to me that I make space to continue doing so regularly, but when I was exhausted from a busy week and needed to function well enough to make a long drive on Friday, Thursday’s restorative down time was a legitimate priority.

Lesson:  Puff said it best. “Rest is healing.”


Over to you…

How can you incorporate more “healing rest” in your day? Tell me in the comments.

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