Rest Day

12 Jul



Photo Credit HERE

Let me first just  say, I HATE REST DAY.

Maybe it’s because we live in a world full of hustle and bustle, where there are constantly a million stimuluses pumping into our brains a day.  For example, I don’t know when this happened, but my summer morning routine is usually :Pray- Devotions, check Facebook, check email, look at WordPress Stats, surf Pinterest, make a list of things todo for the day.  I think I’ve gotten pretty efficient, I can do all the above in 20 min {Devotions take longer give or take the day}. But it brings me to the Chicken or the Egg question,  Am I ADD because of this stimulus overload, or was I just born with a firecracker up my bum? I constantly have to multitask. It’s hard for me to focus on one thing at a time. But that doesn’t mean I avoid attempting to quiet my mind. It’s harder for me, but I think it’s essential for everyone to have a rest day- from everything. I intended this post to be about taking a rest day from working out, but the more I think about it, we need to rest from other things as well…

Gimme’ a Break

  • Hard Workouts {Rest days need to be active too, more below}
  • Work
  • Stress
  • Giving { You need to refill your own cup before you can fill anyone else’s}
  • Social Media




Photo Credit HERE

Rest days from working out are probably the hardest days for me. I feel anxious and irritable when I don’t workout, but I know my body needs a break…otherwise…it will break. I like to remember this quote on rest days, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body” – C.S. Lewis. On rest days I try to focus on bettering myself as a person, rather than focus on working out. This is perhaps one reason I don’t like rest days. I try to quiet myself, to be more patient, and to think of others first. I should do this on a daily basis, and I try, but rest days are when I’m really intentional about it.

Active Rest: I can’t lay around. I just can’t. I feel like poo if I do. So for me a rest day is cleaning the house, walking the dogs, and maybe sitting by the lake. Restocking my fridge with Clean foods, and surfing Pinterest for Paleo recipes {or playing mad scientist in the kitchen and making my own recipes}. Usually my Rest Day is Sunday- so I start my day with Church. I love my church. It helps me to get my mind right. I learn a lot about who God is, and I get to spend community time others. It’s really like family time for me. I’ve learned the hard way that if I sleep in, lay around, eat whatever I want and am unproductive on rest days…they turn into rest DAYS, and really bad habits {Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to start up healthy habits, but super easy to start bad ones}. Some people may not see this as a rest day, but for me it is. I also try to stay off Facebook and my blog on Sundays in order to reconnect with reality. And my walks take me into the woods. I love to be in nature and silence {I do go with my two very protective dogs…Rocky’s part Pitt, and Gracie is part wolf  german shepherd…both diluted with lab}. 

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Although I truly believe in hard work in your career, you also need at least one day where you don’t work. At. All. This is hard if you are a very motivated person with deadlines and people to please. But you will burnout if you don’t detach yourself. When I started teaching, I think I worked from 20 hour days, 7 days a week, for at least the first marking period. I was terrified with the prospect of summer…”What would I do with myself?” I thought. But it has really been a blessing to be able to take a breath. Near the end of the year I was getting a lot better with leaving work at work. Not great, but better. Ryan called me the “crazy teacher lady”, but as with anything I do, I go all or nothing. Balancing that takes more effort than letting myself be consumed. But when I was consumed, which is the perfect word for how I felt, everything suffered. My laundry…relationships, my body, and my mental health. It’s all about balance {Much easier said than done}.


I am a naturally anxious person, so I have had my struggles with stress. In college I would have panic attacks all the time. But I’ve learned how to manage stress in the past few years. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Spend alone time with yourself {NO TECHNOLOGY. ALONE TIME!}
  • Find a quiet space in nature and try to be still. I like to pray. If I don’t have the words, I just say the Lords Prayer and try to keep still.
  • Write a list of things that are troubling me, and put them in my God Box.
  • Organize my “Junk Drawers” and listen to positive music {Josh Wilson, Jason Castro, Jamie Cullens, NewsBoys….the music of my childhood:) }
  • Play with my dogs {except they think FETCH is Keep Away}

What I DON’T do {But I use to do…}

  • Reward myself with food
  • Call a friend and vent {not a bad thing, but generally I think this can stir up more negativity}
  • Go shopping
  • Go to a Coffee shop and buy a $6 coffee

Not that all of these are bad {The first one is…you’re not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food} but I’ve learned that for me, they do not help, but perpetuate my stress.


I know a lot of people like the Body For Life program, and if it works for you, great. But for me, I can’t do cheat days. My IBS and gluten allergy means that I will suffer dearly for even one meal of poor nutrition choices. So for my Rest day with food, I like to make something new and interesting. With all the paleo and clean eating cookbooks and websites, this is pretty easy to do, and I really do enjoy shopping for fresh foods {yes, I’m that annoying girl in the produce aisle squeezing my grapefruit and avocados}.


What about you-

What’s you’re Recovery Day like?

What do you do to alleviate stress?


5 Responses to “Rest Day”

  1. Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections July 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I can relate to you so much, girl! I’m sorry you’re stressing and that rest is hard to take. I am definitely a go-go-go person and have a hard time just chilling out and giving myself the break I need. I think I’ve started to enjoy rest days though because I realize that I’ll hurt myself without them. I’m training for a half marathon right now, and I would be way more upset to not run it than to rest for a day or two.

    I’ve started to make rest days super fun days for me. So I’ll do all the things I normally wouldn’t like read a book with some coffee or go buy a $6 coffee! Love doing that, but not all the time obviously. I think you kind of have to motivate yourself to enjoy it. It’s not just instantly enjoyable you know?

    • Ashley July 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      I totally know what you mean! I am practicing being still lately. My fav bible verse is Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, all you need is to be still.” I will have to plan something special to motivate myself on rest days. That’s a great idea. Maybe rest days will be my Starbucks days 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, girl! 🙂

  2. Shawn July 13, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    I’m the same way with rest days. Can’t stand being sedentary, so I try to put in some active rest. Some light stretching or a nice walk is always nice.

    • Ashley July 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      It’s amazing how nice a long walk can be on a rest day isn’t it!? Not sure how I’ll deal in the winter after having all this sunshine this summer! I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like rest days 🙂

  3. J July 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Hey! Great blog. You seem very grounded and in tune with yourself. I unfortunately am not. I have a LOT of gut and hormonal screw ups and am trying to figure out how to heal my guts. Honestly at a loss. If you have experience, please email me. I’m struggling with adrenal/chronic fatigue and can’t even exercise anymore! It’s been a few years now of this too , so its mentally consuming me. I’m not sure how to heal but know I physically need to healthify my gut before my hormones and metabolism will re-balance. Elimination diet maybe ? I’ve seen a few and am not sure. Email me if you have knowledgeable experience or know of nutritionists/sites online that can help. I think I need structure to battle the binge-eating (i.e. structured meal plans) . The binging wouldn’t be so distressing if it were not for the constipation and zero exercise. I seem to be rolling myself into one big cycle of nothingness. Not cool!

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