The Importance of Rest

Are you feeling the holiday "let-down" yet? Go with it!

The hustle and bustle of preparing for holidays has always been enjoyable for me. But when it's over, I'm left with feeling, "Now what?" or "Shouldn't I be doing something?" 

Rest. The only one who can get off that treadmill is you.

Now is not the time to rev up your engine for January 1st. Goal setting can be over-rated. Are we driving ourselves too hard? 

My challenge for you busy writers out there is to give yourself the next 10 days to rest. That means to purposely set aside a routine.

It's going to look different for each of us but here are some tips:

  • No cooking. Purchase lost of wonderful sandwich and salad fixings and let everyone know the kitchen is closed. It might be a good time to even have a 3 day juice fast.
  • Don't be in such a hurry to pack up the Christmas tree (if you had one). Linger awhile longer with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and cozy up in your favorite spot and enjoy the warmth of candles and lights.
  • Read a book. 
  • Stay in your pajamas all day.
  • Limit or ignore all emails, social networking, and anything that will make you tempted to take care of business. 
  • Watch movies.
Be lazy!

If you work outside the home, schedule this time on the weekends and/or after work. If you have children at home, get on the floor and play with them. The key is to do the opposite of your routine. Make the changes.

Consider what marathon runner, Jeff Gaudette says:
"Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes new runners make is not taking enough rest, or downtime as it is called in running circles, between long training segments or after marathons. Not only does resting for seven to 10 days have little negative impact on your current fitness, the long-term gains you will be able to make will enable you to continue to make consistent progress, year after year without overtraining."
Writing is like a marathon. With the finish line in sight we know how to faithfully stay the course. Taking this time off will not have a negative impact on your career. If anything, it will have a positive impact. 

Part of our success will come from recognizing the need to schedule in rest. We have to take care of ourselves. If we're in it for the long haul we will acknowledge the necessity of scheduling it. And the last week of the year is naturally a great time to do it!


Kathy Moulton is a freelance writer. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts -


Anne Duguid Knol said...

Hi Kathy,
somehow lost my comment on this one when I tried to preview -- maybe my computer needs a bit of rest time too! I rescheduled everything yesterday and almost collapsed with exhaustion just looking at the timetable. I am now taking your advice. I know I get far more done when I rest and relax more but somehow I keep forgetting...

Kathleen Moulton said...

I forget, too, Annie. I'm always buzzing around doing things. I never think I have time for rest. How silly when you think about it. Yesterday, I played Monopoly with my 12 yr old and I enjoyed it! I hope you find the rest you need. We have to make it happen!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great advice Kathy. I'm going to schedule in some down-time next week.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Kathy,
You are right! It is extremely important to take time to rest. Great ideas come to you during or after these periods. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathy, how true. I'm one of those who feel a need to be busy, but it's not a good thing. Thanks for the reminder to take a break. I'll be taking one or both days this weekend - if I remember. :)

Kathleen Moulton said...

I like how you said, "Great ideas come to you during or after these periods". I didn't think of that, Joan, but it's so true.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Take both, Karen! As soon as January 1st hits we'll all be hitting the ground running. ; )

Shirley Corder said...

Thank you so much for this reminder, Kathy! I've been taking it easy for the past few days and had got to the point of feeling I've GOT TO GET MOVING! You're right! I have a couple of things I need to do but I'm going to have another break over New Year.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Hi, Shirley! I'm glad you're taking it easy. Looking forward to hearing about your project this year. Happy New Year!

Kathleen Moulton said...


Linda Wilson said...

Thanks for the reminder to rest, Kathy, especially at holiday time. We writers are NOT a lazy lot so it's hard for us to do "nothing." But, I will try after your great post!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks, Linda. Me, too!

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