Guilt-free rest is in. Life is better when you’re well-rested, regulated, and unhurried. But why do some people feel guilty taking some time to themselves? Read on to discover how to rest guilt-free and enjoy stillness.

Why the Call for Guilt-Free Rest?

The soft life, quiet quitting, and avoiding burnout are all factors to consider when it comes to actively choosing rest. There is a long list of ways to combat the cultural messaging that rest is lazy or something to be earned. At the top of the list, is reclaiming your relationship with rest. It seems that making rest guilt-free is an antidote to ignoring the body’s natural cues to lay down and get some shut-eye.

Insufficient rest hours is something that affects health on a personal and communal level. According to JAMA Network and the Speciality Journals, “Short sleep, or less than seven hours of sleep a night, is 10.7% more common among Black adults than whites.” Sleep deprivation and all the following health consequences is reason enough to seek out guilt-less moments to rest.

Tricia Hersey, from The Nap Ministry, explains the importance of being thoroughly rested in her conversation with For The Wild podcase: “How can we access pleasure and joy and liberation if we’re too tired to experience it?” The idea of celebrating business is contrary to a fully rested mind and body. To make rest a priority is to diligently carve out safe space in your day where rest is non-negotiable.

If you struggle to rest without a thousand thoughts telling you that you shouldn’t be, it might be time for some restful strategies. Below are some ideas and lifestyle habits to help you live shamelessly in your rest.

How to Make Rest Guilt-Free

Take Regular Work Breaks

Work environments can sometimes be the enemy of rest. Be sure to take responsibility for reclaiming rest time in a way that works with your day and body. Be sure to truly indulge in your rest by removing yourself from your work environment/office for your breaks. If you work on-site, it might be a great idea to walk around the building or find somewhere with minimal stimulation to take a break. The key is to not feel pressured to be glued to your work. Let yourself feel fully entitled to stepping away as regularly as you need. Set alarms if this is a new concept for you or simply get used to intuitively trusting your body’s need to step away.

Make the ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode Your Friend

The ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode is helpful in blocking the constant stream of communication and digital noise. While some may find it useful to use this mode for digital silence in the mornings, others may find it useful to turn it on whenever they feel a need to take some me-time without notifications.

Schedule Rest Days in Your Calendar

Whether it is once a month or more frequently, plotting in days to take a day off with nothing to do, is a great way to lean into restful habits.

Make Rest a Norm in Your Friendship Groups

If you really are dedicated to making rest guilt-free, then letting your loved ones and friends know your new priorities will be useful. Communicating your new needs and lifestyle habits will make your rest less of a secret and more of a norm. It may even encourage others in your circle to do the same. This means that rest is respected within the spaces that you usually exist in.

Rest Is Not a Luxury

A forever mantra. Rest is not a luxury and it is not an afterthought. Get into the mentality of seeing rest as something that sustains you, not cures your excessive working. An easy lifestyle change to make rest guilt-free is to not associate rest with a part of a self-care routine. Choose rest just because. In the simplest terms, it is what you need and so it is what you always provide yourself with.