Practical Ways to Rest - The Bonus Episode

Thanks for coming back! As I mentioned last week, we’re going to cover a special bonus way to rest today. If you missed any of the other posts in this series, please start by catching up with the links below. You could probably read this post on it’s own, but it will make so much more sense in the context of all the other ones.

For some of us, an essential ingredient is missing from our rest recipe. Our toolbox of rest is missing one key item that inhibits us from getting the rest we truly need.

The one thing we’re missing, is sleep.

The Problem With Sleep

There are probably as many reasons that people don’t sleep as there are people. I’m sure that everyone has a reason.

For some, it’s probably something like F.O.M.O. What will they miss if they go to bed now? I know that’s a big deal when it comes to sporting events that go late into the night. For others, maybe it’s habitual and they stay up binge watching things and they don’t realize how late it is.

Maybe it’s those little ones that keep us up at night. Or maybe something really good (or really bad) has happened in our lives and we can’t sleep because at this moment all we can do is lie in bed and think about that thing.

There are people who work second jobs, or side hustles and they stay up late trying to get things done. Then there are others who just legitimately have difficulty falling asleep.

Caffeine plays a legitimate role in our inability to sleep as well. We consume caffeine at an incredible rate and if taken too close to when we need to be sleeping, could be the cause of us staring at the ceiling, wondering why our brains won’t shut off.

Another culprit is the proliferation of electronic devices we use late into the night. The blue light from our phones and TV’s can delay the release of the wonderful, sleep-inducing chemical melatonin. When we don’t get right amount of melatonin, we don’t get the right amount (or quality) of sleep. Other research is starting to suggest that the proliferation of “blue light” is affecting our sight.

There are probably many other reasons I can’t even think of but whatever the case, we tend to not sleep, or to not sleep well.

The Most Important Time of the Day

Why is this important? Our lack of sleep is hurting us and ultimately, is adding to our energy debt that we so desperately want to pay off.

We’ve heard all of our lives that we are supposed to sleep for 6-8 hours each day. Do we really need that much sleep? According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, the answer is yes.

The researchers studied over 300 scientific publications regarding sleep and created a chart, spelling out for us the optimal sleep times for people of all different ages. For the average adult, 7-9 hours of sleep is recommended.

There has been other research done that suggests that our bodies function best in 90 minute sleep cycles. In these “sleep cycles” we go through all the stages of sleep and we wake up on the other side more refreshed and energized. This suggests that if we sleep for 6 or 7.5 hours we would wake up and have more energy than if we wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle after the typical 8 hours of sleep.

On top of all of this, there are the health problems that occur when you don’t sleep well. As well as a myriad of health benefits that go along with a good nights sleep. One of the most important of these is that your body heals itself while you are asleep.

When you lift weights during a workout you actually tear your muscle fibers. It’s only during sleep, when your muscles are resting, that the body is able to come in and heal those tears, repair the muscle, and help it to grow back bigger and stronger.

If you want your body to function properly, be able to heal itself, and come back stronger, then you need to sleep. It is essential for you to have the best quality of life.

A New Routine

So what can we do? Is there any hope for us?

I believe there is, but it’s going to take some work on our part. It might not be easy and it probably won’t be convenient. It’s worth it though. Your rest and your energy debt will thank you.

If you don’t already have a nighttime routine, it’s time to create one. If you have one already, let’s change it up to actually work for you. Creating habits around bedtime will eventually make it so that you don’t even have to think about what it is that you need to do or when you need to do it. It will just come naturally to you. Not at first, mind you, but it will come.

What does this routine look like?

  • Say Goodnight to Caffeine: For starters, no more caffeine at least 3 hours before you go to bed. Research suggests that it takes 6 hours for half the caffeine you consume to be eliminated from your body. You have to stop stimulating your body so that it can create the natural chemicals it needs to rest.
  • Shut Down: Begin shutting down phones, TV’s, and other devices at least an hour before bed. This gives you time for the blue light issues we talked about earlier to work themselves out.
  • Rearrange your schedule: You probably won’t be able to stay up so late anymore. Determine the best time for you to wake up and work backwards from there. If you need 7.5 hours of sleep and you need to get up at 6am, then you know that you have to be asleep no later than 10:30pm. If you’re shutting down your electronics an hour before bed, that means that you’re new bedtime routine starts at 9:30. If you’re used to going to bed at midnight or later, this is going to be a big change.
  • Read a book: Consider spending some time reading a book before bed. It will give you something to do that isn’t looking at a screen and it will help you wind down. There is something about reading that makes me sleepy at any time of the day. When I read before I go to bed, it’s pretty much lights out for me.
  • Lavender: It’s been shown that lavender is a calming scent and can aid in sleep. If you’re really struggling, maybe consider a diffuser or some other way to incorporate lavender into your nighttime routine.
  • Know Yourself: It’s important that you know your tendencies and what it takes for you to sleep. There are some people that can fall asleep really easily (raises hand) but there are others that just naturally have a harder time. If that’s you, your nighttime routine might need to start earlier than others. Form habits around the things that you know work for you when it comes to falling asleep and make them a part of your routine.

Our lack of sleep is probably the #1 cause of our lack of rest and the highest contributor to our energy debt. From an “amount of time resting” perspective, this should truly come before Sabbaths. Without sleep the other things we’ve talked about really don’t matter. If we aren’t sleeping, we will continue to create a deficit in our energy needs … even while taking a sabbatical.

But here’s the good news, you have a choice. You don’t have to be a victim of poor sleep. Changing your routine can help lead to better, more restful sleep overall.

One note for us all: If you’ve changed your routine and you still find yourself struggling with sleep, don’t be afraid to seek out a doctor. There could be a legitimate medical condition that is affecting your ability to rest.

Next week we’re going to talk about one of the biggest problems we could face when it comes to having a large energy debt and how it can throw this entire series of posts out the window. Caveats abound! See you then.

June 14, 2019

Practical Ways to Rest #3

It’s great to see you all today! We’ve reached the third way in which we can pay back our energy debt. I think you’ll see from today’s topic that this will be the one that has the most potential to take us over the hump from energy debt into energy surplus.

As always, if you are new here (welcome!) or have missed any of the other posts in this series, you can catch up quickly with this handy dandy list!

Today, let’s talk about the idea of sabbaticals.

Sabbaticals

One of the best ways we can pay back the energy debt we owe is by taking a sabbatical. You’ve probably all heard the term but, simply put, a sabbatical is a period of leave. This is typically used in an academic context where a teacher will take a sabbatical every seventh year in order to write, travel, or study … something to further their career. It is an extended career absence.

Taking off a whole year would be an amazing way to get back on the right side of our own personal energy crisis. It’s probably the best way. If you are self-employed or your company already has a policy in place for something like this I would highly encourage you to take advantage of it.

The majority of us, however, cannot take off a whole year and (a) get paid for it or (b) expect our position at our jobs to still be around when we get back. So what do we do? The answer is mini-sabbaticals.

Seventh Week Sabbaticals

First, for anyone who controls their own work schedule or has influence into their schedule I recommend to you a Seventh Week Sabbatical.

The idea here is that you work for 6 weeks and take every seventh week off. Just make it a part of your calendar and work cycle. You still take holidays and weekends like normal, but every seventh week you rest.

Doing this means that during the course of a year you get 7 weeks off! That might seem like a lot in our society. Remember how the average person only gets 2 weeks of vacation every year? Take a second and think about how much more rested you would be if you did this. Think about how much better your 6 weeks of work would be if you were rested and ready for it before it even started.

I encourage you to really and truly think through how you could implement a seventh-week sabbatical. Do the hard work and figure out how to do the 7 weeks of work in 6 weeks so that you can take that seventh week off. I promise you’ll thank me later.

Weekend Sabbaticals

For anyone who doesn’t control their own work schedule (this is the majority of us who work for someone else) I want to throw out the idea of Weekend Sabbaticals.

Once a month (every 4 weeks) you would take the entire weekend (2 full days) off. That means that for an entire weekend there are no house chores, no honey-do lists, nothing - unless you want to do it and it’s restful for you.

We all have so much to do that doesn’t get done throughout the week so our only option is to tackle it all when we’re not “at work”. We blast through the weekend and before we know it we’re back at Monday again never having stopped for a second.

A “Weekend Sabbatical” gives us the opportunity, once a month, to stop and catch our breath before moving on. I’d recommend putting this at the end of the month right before the next one starts, but obviously, do what works best for your schedule.

You may be thinking, “That’s it? That’s all the time I get?” Just think about it. How much more rested will you be if you implemented this today? A whole weekend without the necessity to do anything except those things that you want to do? That would feel like a miracle occurred in your life. Over time, as you build these up, you will definitely see a difference in your energy levels.

Who’s in Control?

Everyone fits into one of two categories. Either you control your work schedule or you don’t. Either way, now is the time to schedule your sabbatical, whatever flavor it looks like. Open up your calendar right now, find the next time when you’re mini-sabbatical should be and put it on your calendar. Then set it to repeat.

Again, the idea for these come from Sean McCabe and his great sabbatical blog, but I’m a firm believer in them and I am working on figuring out a way to fit them into my own life. I would say that I’m probably becoming a “sabbatical evangelist,” if I’m being honest.

I already have a seventh week sabbatical on my calendar for the writing side of my life. Every seventh week I just take off from the obligation of writing anything. I still post here but that writing is usually done beforehand so that I don’t have an obligation to get it done.

Also, since I work a regular job, I am working on figuring out how to put weekend sabbaticals in place for my family and I. They aren’t as easy to schedule right this second because of prior obligations. Obligations are not restful, remember? But I’m getting it on the calendar. We actually just had our first one last weekend and it was glorious.

The Best Bang for Your Buck

As you can hopefully see, sabbaticals offer us the best chance to pay back the energy debt we owe and turn it into an energy surplus.

No matter which sabbatical is right for you and your situation, put it on your calendar today. You’ll figure out the “how” later. Right now you can commit to doing one of them (or both - depending on how deep that energy debt goes). Once you’ve committed, the “how” will figure itself out. This is where I’m at and I invite you along for the journey.

Editorial Note: There were only supposed to be 3 practical ways to rest that I was going to cover in this series. The more I thought about it, there really is at least 4 ways. So I decided to add a bonus way for you. Come back next week and find out about a way to rest that should probably come even before Sabbaths. See you then!

June 07, 2019

Practical Ways to Rest #2

Welcome back!

If you missed any of the prior posts in this series, here are the links you need. Go back and read them all!

Last week we covered the first and most important way in which we can begin to rest … by actually taking a Sabbath day. This week we’ll progress a little further down the rabbit hole into another, more extended way.

Remember, the goal of all of this is for us to be able to start to live from a surplus of energy instead of trying to manufacture energy and live from a deficit.

Sabbaths are great and necessary if we’re ever going to get to that energy surplus. Like I said last week, that is the first place you should start. Think of this as a progression. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t jump into this or next weeks topic and start taking action if you aren’t currently taking a Sabbath. And you shouldn’t stop taking a Sabbath once you start any of these other things.

That brings us to today’s topic.

Vacation

The second way in which you can start to find rest (and pay back that energy debt) is by taking a vacation. Vacations give us the ability to have an extended time away from our responsibilities - more than just one day on a Sabbath.

Sabbaths are “Man, it feels great to rest today. Oh my goodness I’m back at work tomorrow.” Vacations, on the other hand, are “Man, it feels great to rest today. Oh wow, I get to do this again tomorrow. That’s awesome.”

Vacations provide us with the opportunity to really dig into restful activities for a longer period of time - if we are willing to do so.

Vacation Hesitation

Honestly though, I’m almost hesitant to mention vacations as a source of restfulness for 3 reasons:

  1. Vacations are almost never restful. During vacations we tend to go on trips to places like theme parks, or we visit places we’ve never been. We want to see and do all the things. Which, in and of itself, isn’t bad. It’s just not restful. We go and go and never really take the time to rest while we’re there. Vacations are almost always scheduled down to the minute and generally feel more rushed than relaxing.
  2. Vacations are horribly time-limited. Most people only get 2 weeks of vacation a year. For those of us that work for someone else we might take one week off in the summer to go somewhere with our family. Then the remaining week is probably split up into a day here or there as we have need of extra time for something. At least, that’s been my experience. One week off a year doesn’t really cut it in the rest department. You can’t pay back an energy debt for 50 weeks of work like that.
  3. We almost never take them. Something about vacation and work just doesn’t mesh together. We have so much work to do that many of us just feel like we can’t take time off at all. The proliferation of new “unlimited vacation” policies at companies are only making it worse. Many people don’t want to take time off because they feel like they would be looked down upon or that they are abusing the policy.

It Can Be Great

But despite these drawbacks, it’s great that this time exists. For those of us that don’t control our work schedule, vacation time is the only other rest we can get during the year. So we should make sure to use these days to the fullest.

The trick with vacations, like Sabbaths, is to actually take them. If you want to pay back your energy debt you need to take all of your vacation time. Seriously. Take all the time you are given. It’s given to you. It’s yours. Take it!

I remember a few years ago when our team at work had a giant project that we were trying to launch. That year our whole team (which was around 15 people or so) only took half of our vacation time. That means that, on average, each of us only took a total of one week off that year. That’s not healthy and it showed. Once we launched our project, pretty much everyone on the team got sick - in which case we were forced to take time off.

The lesson - take all the time you have. It’s good for your health.

Also, don’t feel bad about taking time off that you’ve earned. If you’ve done a good job at work and you’re getting all your stuff done then no one should have a problem with that.

Tips & Tricks

Some quick tips for vacation time:

  • Schedule it. You have to intentionally schedule and take the time you are given. Look at the calendar ahead and literally plan it now. It can change later if things come up but the chances of you taking it increase exponentially if you schedule it.
  • Treat it like a Sabbath. If you’re looking to catch up on your energy debt then treat it like you would a Sabbath. Don’t plan anything and only do things that actually bring you rest.
  • Go slow. If you do decide to head to a theme park or visit a new city with the family, don’t plan on seeing everything. Slow down. Soak in the sights and sounds around you. Don’t spend all of your time rushing around just to get a picture in front of some building or with some character. “We rode Space Mountain, then we went and had a Dole Whip and laid on the beach” is so much more restful than “I spent 75% of my vacation in lines so that we could ride every ride in the park.” The key here is energy debt reduction and energy savings, not how much you can see in one day.
  • End it early. Taking a week-long vacation to someplace that isn’t your home is awesome. Arriving home at 11:00 PM on Sunday night and having to be back at work at 8:00 AM on Monday morning isn’t. Come home a day or two early and it will give you time to transition back to whatever “normal” life is. This will give you time to have your “vacation from the vacation.” Who knows? This might be your most restful time of all!

The End

At the end of the day, vacations are a great way to extend the idea of Sabbath into a multi-day event. However, we actually have to take them and use them for restful activities if we plan on reducing our energy debt. How you handle the time off you have has everything to do with how restful it is for you.

I’ll be back next week with the third and final way we can get rid of the pesky energy debt and really start saving some up for the future. See you then!

May 31, 2019

Practical Ways to Rest #1

Guys and gals … we’ve done it. We’ve made it to the part of the series where we finally get to learn some ways we can start to pay back our energy debt.

If you missed any of the prior posts in this series (or if you just want a refresher) here are the links you need. Go back and read them all!

Each week over the next three weeks we’ll be exploring one way that we can start to rest for the work we’re going to do instead of from the work we’ve already done.

I’m so excited that we finally made it here! Let’s dive in.

Sabbath

The first and most practical way for us to start paying back our energy debt is simple: actually take one day off every week.

This may sound simple or like you waited all this time and this is the answer I give you. Stay with me here.

We’ve covered it before but I’m going to say it again: we don’t know how to rest. We just don’t. So in order to get this right, to even start to know how to rest, it’s imperative that we start here.

A few weeks ago we talked about how God modeled the idea of a “sabbath” every seventh day. The creation story tells us that God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3) and in Exodus 20:8-11 he even made rest one of the Ten Commandments:

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Heading to the New Testament, Jesus talks about the Sabbath as well. We find the following in Mark 2:27:

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’”

While we weren’t made for it (it’s not our purpose), the Sabbath - meaning “to rest” in Hebrew - was made for us because God knew we would need it.

We Have to Stop

If we are ever going to get to a place where burnout doesn’t occur and where it is possible to even start thinking about creating an energy surplus then we have to start here.

We literally have to stop for one day every week.

Just like we have to (or should!) sleep for 8 hours out of every 24, we should be taking 1 day out of every 7 for rest. This day should, as much as possible, be devoted to you doing things that bring you life. No agendas, no obligations, just whatever it is that you find restful.

If you work a regular day job, typically you only work 5 days a week. That leaves 2 days off every week. Pick one and make it your rest day. Schedule this day on your calendar for the whole year. Cross off every one of them with a big “X” or mark it as “Sabbath.” You are more likely to not schedule anything on that day going forward if it already exists on your calendar. One thing I can guarantee you is that if you don’t schedule it, you won’t keep to it and things will creep into that time.

F.O.M.O.

Now, this might mean that you need to move some obligations around or cancel them completely. You may get offers to do things that you really want to do that you’ll have to say “no” to. You’re going to feel like you’re missing out. That’s perfectly natural.

Remember from last week, the first rule of resting was that you can’t schedule anything in advance, not that you couldn’t do anything at all. You just never know how tired you might be until you have the opportunity to rest.

If you say “yes” to something on your scheduled rest day two weeks in advance and then you get to your rest day and you’re exhausted, you’re now in a position where you have to go through with whatever you said “yes” to (because I know you’re a person of your word), regardless of whether that’s the best thing for you and your health.

By waiting until the day of your rest to make decisions about what you’re going to do you’ve put yourself in a position to do things that will provide rest and create energy for you, not suck the energy from you. Ultimately, your health is more important than anything you thought you needed or wanted to do.

We’ve Gotta Start Somewhere

Better rest and more energy. The two go hand-in-hand. Over time, if we stay intentional and consistent in our pursuit of a Sabbath rest we will find ourselves in the place where we have both. We will also be nicer, kinder, and generally better people because we aren’t so tired all the time.

If you’ve never done this before or are in a season where you find yourself not doing this well, this is your first step. It will do you no good to attempt anything else if this one isn’t in place first. I think you’ll find that even just this one small step will create a dramatic improvement in how you feel.

Come back next week as we explore the second way you can start paying pack that energy debt.

P.S. I ran across this blog post today and wanted to share it. John Eldredge is probably my favorite author and in this post he’s talking about Sabbath. What great timing!

May 24, 2019

Ground Rules for Rest

Welcome back everyone! So far we’ve covered our problem with rest, what rest actually is, the reason why we should rest, and just last week we went over a change in how we think that can help us change how we rest. If you’ve missed any of those posts, head to those links and check them out before continuing here.

Imagine that I gave you a new tool. It’s shiny and new. Not too heavy, not too light. It’s perfectly balanced when you hold it in your hand. It’s got a couple of knobs that look like they might adjust something. There’s one thing near the end that looks like it might cut or … maybe it’s meant to punch through something? I leave you no instructions on how to use it. I just put it in your hand and tell you that it will change your life. I’ll be back in a week to see how you’ve gotten along with it.

What do you think would happen to that tool?

If we’re being honest, I think the majority of us would just put the tool down, fully intending to look at it and see what it does, but we would just forget about it until I came back to check in on it.

Of the extreme minority that actually do decide to pick it up and test it out, (most likely less than 10% of the people) there would be three camps:

  • Those that attempt to figure it out and just wind up breaking it because they don’t know what they’re doing
  • Those that attempt to figure it out and no matter how hard they try they just can’t.
  • Those that actually do figure it out.

So for about 97% of the people that I would give the tool to it would be of no use whatsoever. They’d forget about it, not be able to figure out how to get it to work, or just wind up breaking it.

Now how different would that group of people be if, when I left the tool, I also left an instruction book? You could read about the tool, figure out what it was made to do, and how to use it. What do you think the success rate would be then?

I’d wager it would be the exact opposite as before. I’d bet that somewhere in the 90% range would know exactly what to do with that tool and would use it correctly.

That’s where I find myself today.

Last week I said that we would talk about some practical ways that we can start to pay back that energy debt that we’re all living in and, over time, build up an energy surplus so that we can start resting for the work we’re going to do instead of from the work we’ve just done.

We’re gonna get there, I promise.

As I was writing that post this week, I realized that it would be irresponsible of me to just start naming ways that we could rest better without any context about what we should do while we’re resting. It would be like handing you this awesome new tool without any instructions. It looks awesome but you don’t know what you’re supposed to do with it. Oh you could try to figure it out but chances are, when I came to check in on you, you wouldn’t have even used that tool. Or it would be destroyed. That’s not your fault. You just tried to use the tool. It’s my fault because I didn’t tell you how to use it.

So before we jump into the ways that we can pay back our energy debt, I just wanted to take a bit to chat with you about some ground rules you should set up as you start to think about your rest times.

  1. Your rest shouldn’t have an agenda. This wasn’t my idea. The more that I learn about rest, the more I’m learning that this true. It comes from Sean McCabe. He’s a designer and business owner who’s been taking sabbaticals (something we’ll get into later) for years. He’s built the idea of sabbaticals into his business and has a goal to get every business to allow employees to take them.

His #1 rule for any restful time is this:

You can’t plan ahead of time what you’re going to do during your rest time.

Planning things for your rest time defeats the purpose of it being restful. Let’s be honest, you don’t know how much you need rest until you get the chance to rest. In the middle of the go, go, go there is no telling how tired we might be when we finally get to our time off. If you fill up your rest time with stuff before you even get there (no matter how restful or nice it may sound) then you’re creating obligations you now have to follow through with regardless of whether or not your body feels like it.

Here’s a truthful saying:

Obligation isn’t restful.

Sean’s post about freedom from obligation says it so much better than I can. You should read it.

  1. You have to guard your time. Whether your taking off a day, a week, or a year, it’s up to you to make sure that nothing interferes with your rest. You are responsible for knowing when your time off is, and then making sure that nothing ends up on your calendar during that time.

This has two “haves”:

  • You have to put this time on your calendar where you’ll see it. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. You can take that to the bank.
  • You have to start thinking of this time as sacred. As much as humanly possible, nothing and no one interferes with it. I mean, if you’re watching college football on your rest day and your child needs you to change their diaper, get up and change their diaper man! You can’t just ignore your family.

Speaking of which …

  1. If you have a family, find ways to rest together. Rest doesn’t have to be an isolated activity. There are times where that’s necessary, for sure, and it’s even healthy to take some time for yourself every once in a while. But you have a family for a reason. Bring them along on the journey. Show and teach your children about proper ways to schedule their time to include rest. Then maybe when they’re older they won’t have the same problems we do!

Okay, now we’ve covered the basic rules for our rest time and my conscience is clear that I am not giving you a tool that you won’t be able to use. Next week we’ll get into the first and most important way that we can start to pay back that energy debt. See you then!

May 17, 2019

A New Mindset

All true change starts with changing how you think. Of course, thinking alone won’t do it, you have to put action to the thoughts. Without action all your really have are dreams. But it all starts with changing your thoughts. I believe you can make major changes in your life just by changing the way you think.

Today I want to see if I can adjust your way of thinking a little; to see if I can get you to see things from a different perspective. This little shift has the ability to transform the way you think (and act) when it comes to rest.

Change Your Mind

We talked before about your energy and how, when you work from a place of zero energy you are creating energy debt. This energy debt then must be paid back in your time off, often with interest. Now, as we all know, we’re not great at resting so instead of taking the time to rest and catch back up, we just keep going and going and never make it back to even. Eventually this will lead to burnout and probably a myriad of other health related issues that we know nothing about.

What would happen if we changed the way we thought about rest? What if, instead of working from a place of zero or negative energy, we worked from a place where we had a surplus? What would change in your life if, at the end of a long week, you still had energy left?

It’s time to shift our focus. It’s time to change our mindset.

From? Or So That?

The idea that I want to put in front of you today is this:

Instead of resting from our work, we should rest so that we can work.

When we rest after we’ve worked, we are borrowing energy we don’t have in order to get stuff done. When done this way, the rest we get is an attempt to get us back to zero (which never actually happens). This is all so that we can turn around and borrow negative energy again.

On the other hand, when you rest before you work, you build up a surplus (or positive amount) of energy that you can then use in your work. There’s no negative energy balance or borrowing energy you promise to pay back later.

If energy is currency and borrowing energy we don’t have leads us to energy debt, then the same can be true of energy savings and living from a surplus. If you save up energy first, then the work you do will use the energy that you already have stored up.

Just like the financial debt you pay collects interest, savings accounts do too. It might be less interest, but it’s still interest, right? If you have energy saved up, and you live off of that saved energy, there’s a chance you might have some energy left over that will gather interest. Then as you continue your rest and work cycles moving forward, you will continually be building up more and more stored energy. This allows you to sometimes work a little harder, do a little more, and still end up with a positive energy balance in the end.

By living from a surplus, we gather more. It’s the law of compound interest and it works in more areas of your life than just your finances.

I hope this little change in how you think can spark some big changes in how you rest. Now that we’ve covered our problem with rest, what rest is, our reason for rest, and this change in mindset, we’re ready to tackle some ideas about how we can shift our actions to allow us to pay back the energy debt we owe and start to work from a surplus. I’m looking forward to talking about that next week.

May 10, 2019