Rest, Reflect, Resurrect Part 1

comeback girl



Happy Easter! While not everyone shares in the celebration of this particular holiday, I do think the value of a pause for reflection and rest is applicable to all of us. Psychologists know the value of recovery; periods of rest such as a good night’s sleep, a weekend of recreation, a microbreak, to allow the mind to refocus and restore itself. After we rest, we think more clearly, we have more patience, perform tasks better, are generally happier. A little focus on rest for a big profit.

So far, so sensible. But someone tell me how because I am busy. I want to explore how we can rest within the busy. Here are the best tips that I have found. Now to apply them altogether! (and don’t worry, I will leave the candle lighting or essential oils to others!)


1) Drop the perfectionist, all-or-nothing attitude 

Just for the weekend. This is one of the biggest obstacles to people taking time to nourish the soul, says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Chicago-area author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Steps to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create aLife You Love


Can’t go to a 90-minute yoga class? Try one yoga pose instead of a 90 minute class. Can’t sit for 30 minutes of meditation? Try five deep breaths. “Personally, I love to go for a walk outside… to really nourish my soul. Ideally, I take an hour or longer, but… I take a walk around the block.” I would add to this, if you love novels but find the time commitment daunting, just commit to 15 minutes escape per day and leave it at that.

2) Write a list or think of things you really love doing more than anything and plan when to do it.  I find just planning and visualising relieves tension. Google a recipe, book an evening out, WhatsApp a friend and arrange a time to speak.

3) Try this breathing technique 

from the amazing Simone de Hoogh, specialist in neuro-atypical kids. It’s the best I’ve come across.
I don’t know why this works but it does. I do it when I ‘m trying to get back to sleep at night, the loo at work, ANYWHERE.





4) Think about a morning and evening routine 

Getting up earlier has changed my life in creating some extra space.
This great article at The Muse has a good set of tips for how to boost productivity by being more morning-efficient, and simultaneously sleeping better. 

5) Think of something totally different to do


Break the routine. Have take-away from somewhere else, go to a local place you’ve never been to before, call a friend. A new activity will help to take you out of the auto-pilot routine and may give you a new energy for life.

6) Stop pretending everything is OK


Surrender. Talk to your partner or closest loved one, what is one thing you think I should change? Then without judgement of yourself or them, implement it. Alternatively, resolve that you are going to have that difficult conversation next week. I did that with a senior peer this week and felt like I had lost three kilos.


7) Forgive someone and release yourself 

BIG ONE. Recent Research found that study participants who forgave were later able to jump higher, on average, than participants who didn’t forgive. “When people forgive someone, the ‘weight being lifted off their shoulders’ is a metaphor that can activate a real concept of lightness,” says University of Washington assistant professor of management, Ryan Fehr. He concludes that “forgiveness might help people retain more energy, carry less stress and even perform better at work.”

8) Go and stand in a field the clean air of nature

Jim Whittaker in 1963, the first American to summit Mount Everest. In wild places, “I enter my own personal cathedral and know where I fit in the vastness of creation,” he shares in his memoir, A Life on the Edge. Whittaker adds that throughout his life, the beauty and richness of nature has served as “my inspiration, my comfort, my compass and rudder.”


9) Talk to someone about something they love

Watch their eyes light up. This is especially easy in kids or the elderly.They will see (and share) wonder in everything. Then go away, ask yourself what lights you up like that, and plan to do it.

10) Immerse yourself in music you love 

Here is a quote from the bestselling author of Soldier Dogs, Maria Goodavage, on what music does to her!
The second movement of Beethoven’s violin concerto
 “is my soul nourishment right now,”  Describing the frantic sprint to a deadline she says listening to the piece 
has been giving me great comfort and happiness and peace. There’s something so calming, ethereal and yet grounding about the larghetto [music with a languid tempo]. It’s like a slow, reassuring heartbeat. The true soul-nurturing to me is in the pauses, which I know sounds strange. Maybe it’s because I can’t take time to pause with this deadline. 

Wow, just reading what she says about music is food for the soul!

That's the next ten tips for a more reflective state, Rest, Reflect, Resurrect, Pt.2  is here, along with links to the books mentioned in this post.


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