Rest.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

– Anne Lamott

National Margarita Day is Monday and I may be celebrating early. Donkey Taqueria here in Grand Rapids is offering these three fun flavors starting today, and I think I would like to try the Thai Basil one. One icy margarita sounds like a decent way to unplug for a few minutes. [Photo credit: @donkeytaqueria]

My co-worker shared a link to an article yesterday called “The 7 Types of Rest Every Person Needs.” It starts like this:

“Have you ever tried to fix an ongoing lack of energy by getting more sleep — only to do so and still feel exhausted? If that’s you, here’s the secret: Sleep and rest are not the same thing, although many of us incorrectly confuse the two.”

Sleep and rest are not the same.

The seven types of rest in this article are physical rest, mental rest, sensory rest, creative rest, emotional rest, social rest, and spiritual rest.  I wanted to share this article because it gave me a way to look at my exhaustion. Are you exhausted?

Here’s a quick example of what I got out of it: I have been getting enough sleep – usually 7 or 8 hours a night. But my lack of energy feels so different from the kind I get when I stay up past midnight. It’s more like a kind of heaviness (I keep using that word in conversation for some reason), and I suspect I’m not the only one.

I diagnosed myself with the article, armchair-expert-style. It was written by a medical doctor, so I’m calling it legit. (Take a look at your own possible rest deficits in the article).

Diagnosis: I’m low on social rest and creative rest. How about you?

Social rest deficits are easy to diagnose right now. We are all operating on low because of this once-in-a-generation disruption to our relationships called a global pandemic. We miss our friends.

Creative rest though, according to the author Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, is especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas.

Who’s with me on this one? Any problems to solve this year? Yes. Especially for those of us who try so hard to control things.

Feeling the need to come up with new ideas? Yes. (New ways to celebrate the Superbowl? New ways to connect with elderly relatives? New ways to support hurting friends, hold funerals, have birthday parties, engage with clients, go on a date, go to church?) Even though we are a year into this pandemic, there is no shortage of new problems leaning in for our attention. How much will we attempt to solve?

She suggests that the best anecdote to this type of fatigue is creative rest: to be outdoors, taking in natural beauty like canyons and waterfalls.

Neither of these are available to me in February in lower Michigan, but we did take a walk last night in the dark. It was snowing and only about 10 degrees, so the snowflakes looked like glitter.  Every streetlamp we passed under displayed this heavenly glitter, and Jamie waited patiently while I attempted to capture the magic with my iPhone.  That sense of awe and wonder is one ticket to creative rest.

Another way to get creative rest, she says, is enjoying the arts. We are going away overnight for a date this weekend to Saugatuck Michigan. It is known as “the art coast of Michigan” – and it has many fine art galleries.  I hope we find some live music too, but that is a bit of a long shot this year.

We also may enjoy one of those limited-edition margaritas from Donkey Taqueria this weekend. To savor the creative idea to add Thai basil and black pepper to a margarita.

Rest up, friends.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

Matthew 11:28

“The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

Psalm 19:1

May the right kind of rest renew your energy. And in the words of Emily P. Freeman, “May your feel a lift in your spirit, even slight.”

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