I’ve said it once, I’ve said more times then you probably want to hear, but…
Just like with everything in life, the things we do on a daily basis have the most impact.
So if we want to get the rest our bodies and brains need, we must have a routine, things that we do everyday (or evening), that will help facilitate quality rest. For many, finding a routine is where we get lost. We just don’t know how to develop one, or it’s not in the creation of the routine where you struggle, but in its implementation.
I understand this wholly, because I struggle with BOTH. I can desire to create, but won’t take the time to do so or I can create, but not implement. It’s hard, because both take work and diligence. Something that I like to call “spadework”, which I’ll explain further down.
In knowing that I struggle, and knowing that others must struggle as well, I set down to create a 2-week Get Your Rest Challenge to help develop a nightly routine that will support quality rest. I have broken it down into 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Print out the Get Your Rest 2-Week Challenge Worksheet
Step 2: Scripture and Spadework
I find that going to God before I go to bed, not just in prayer, but in his word, really helps prepare me for rest. As you might have read in a previous post from this series, when I lay down for the night I like to go through the A.C.T.S. prayer and the Lord’s prayer before I go to sleep. But before I hit the bed, before I start the teeth brushing and face washing, before the stretching or applying my favorite essential oils, I like to read scripture that reminds why rest is important. Why it’s commanded by God to fulfill just as much as the holy work he’s set out for each of us. For each night of the challenge, pick a scripture that will remind you of the importance of rest and restoration, and write it in the space provided. As you start your evening routine, refer to your worksheet and look up the verse you wrote down. Reminding yourself of why you need quality rest. It can be the same scripture every night or it can be a different piece of scripture each night. It’s whatever works best for you.
Are you stuck on scripture? Not sure which to use? No worries. Below is a list of scripture that speaks to the importance of rest and restorations.
While scripture was probably self-explanatory as to what to write, I know that most of you might be scratching your heads on what I mean by spadework. The definition of the word spadework is “routine or difficult preparatory work.” This is the stuff that we need to do, that we need to do daily, that we KNOW we need to do, to get the best results in whatever we are pursuing. But more often than not, it’s the stuff that we put off, push aside and replace with things that don’t produce the best results.
And what’s worse, is that a lot of times spadework isn’t necessarily hard or takes that much time. But for whatever the reason, whether it’s the routinliness of it or that we just get sucked into our couches watching American Idol, playing games on our phones or surfing our social media, we just don’t seem to want to do that daily preparatory work.
So what does spadework look like for rest?
It’s anything that you need to do every night that will prepare for that quality rest your body and brain desperately need. It can be preparing and drinking sleepytime tea, dry brushing your skin, taking a relaxing shower, applying some essential oils or magnesium lotion, taking some melatonin, practicing some stretches that produce relaxation, preparing your bed for maximum comfy-ness, etc. I think you get the gist. You might need to do all these things, you might only need to do some of them, or you might create some that work just for you (I think warm milk is gross, but if it gets you prepared for quality rest, go for it!). Just make sure these things work for YOU, and in some cases check with your health care provider before taking supplements. Take the time now right out your spadework on the worksheet in the space provided. Remember you can always adjust your spadework as you find new ways to prepare or what works best over others.
Step 3: Dates and Bedtimes
Pick the dates for the 14 days you will be completing your rest challenge, and write them on your worksheet. Next, decide on a bedtime. This can be challenging, because we tend to place expectations that we cannot meet either within the 14-day challenge, or for our future rest routines. At the end of the day, it’s not just about replenishing sleep that we may need to make up over the next 2 weeks, this challenge is to promote a healthy, attainable rest routine that produces the best results. So when it comes to choosing a bedtime, let’s be realistic.
Step 4: Start Challenge
Ready to get some rest? Ready to start a new routine? YOUR ARE READY!