You are worthy of rest.

As I started to think about the long holiday weekend, it occurred to me that we tend to fill these days with one activity after another. Particularly since many of us spent a couple of  years refraining from in-person social activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may feel obligated or pressured to fill the calendar to overflowing now that it feels like all the restrictions have gone away. (But, please, before you venture out, check the latest guidelines and levels of community spread and take the appropriate precautions.)

I’m here to tell you – you can still say no, even without the COVID excuse.

Pause for a moment before the weekend hits and really reflect on what you need. If you need more rest (and I suspect you do), consider some of these suggestions for true rest and renewal. And, if you are an essential worker – grocery store and restaurant staff, police and fire department officials, hospital workers, delivery drivers, etc. – thank you for working on these harried holiday weekends. Use these suggestions on your day off. You’ll need it after such a taxing weekend.

Tech Sabbath. Take 24 hours of your time off away from screens. I borrow this practice from the book 24/6: Giving Up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection by Tiffany Shlain. As she explains in the book, you don’t necessarily have to give up all activities, just print out your schedule and maps before you power down.

Try Meditation. Have you been wanting to start a meditation practice? A long weekend is a great time to try. You can try a meditation app. I like Shine and Insight Timer. I even have some of my free guided meditations on Insight Timer now! 

Obviously, you wouldn’t use an app if you are also observing a screen-free day. You can always use the directions from a book or simply try focusing on your breath for 5 minutes as a start that doesn’t require a screen.

Take a Nap. ’Nuff said.

Take a Walk. Get out in nature in your neighborhood, or drive to a local park. One of the blessings of my pandemic life was learning how many wonderful state and local parks there are around me.

Get Outside. A riff on the suggestion above. You don’t even have to walk – you can take a blanket, a book, a snack and a beverage, and lay around on the ground. You can even take a nap there, which would use three of these suggestions at the same time!

Plant Some Flowers. There’s nothing like getting your hands in the dirt for renewal. I’m planning to repot some very overgrown houseplants!

Read a Book. Grab a paper book off your shelf and dig in.

Journaling. Reflection goes hand in hand with extra rest. I often come up with my most creative ideas when I’m getting some down time. Simply grab a journal or any paper and start writing or drawing. Need some direction? My coach, Becky Mollenkamp, has some fantastic journaling advice and downloadable journaling prompts.

Coloring. This popular mindfulness pastime suits a long weekend. I already took out my coloring pages and pencils! You should, too.

I hope these suggestions help make your weekend more intentionally restful. I’ll say once again – you are worthy of rest. Feel free to say no to too much busy-ness. You deserve it!

Are you looking for more ways to practice rest? Join me for my next restorative yoga session to celebrate the Summer Solstice with yoga – June 21, 7-9 p.m. Or would you rather try a shorter class? My weekly restorative class meets for an hour every Wednesday at 8:30 a..m. ET, or you can get the recording later. Your first class is always free.