What makes it difficult for us to rest?

I am guessing I am not the only one who has a tendency to let the work-life balance tip further towards the work side than the rest and relaxation side. What makes it difficult for us to take some time off?

I believe there are two sources for the thoughts that keep us working hard beyond our tiredness threshold. One is the ideas that we have taken on board from our own past experiences. These have grown into limiting beliefs influencing our subconscious and many of our actions. The other is the cultural ideas that we have unquestioningly absorbed as truth – and I would like to challenge two of these that I have experienced:

  1. “Rest is equated to doing nothing.” It is unproductive and people who rest regularly are being lazy. Although on the outside it may seem like our bodies are doing nothing, under the surface there is a lot of repair and new growth happening in every cell of our bodies. Our minds may seem vacant to an observer, but our subconscious is ordering the events of the day, making sense of new experiences, imprinting new memories and connecting new information to that previously stored. These processes are so important to our creativity and ability to solve problems.
  2. “There is not enough time to do what needs to be done.” So we find ourselves constantly multi-tasking and trying to squeeze the highest productivity out of every minute. We force ourselves to continue working even when we are so tired that we can no longer concentrate and our vision is becoming blurred. When we take a sane moment to evaluate the results of these attention-divided times of work, are we really producing high quality? Who told us that there is not enough time? Who determines what absolutely needs to be done? Are we not able to finish better quality work once we have rested and return refreshed?


When we continue to be driven by these and other ideas, we are allowing them to rule our lives. Resting is an expression of freedom, of recognising that we cannot keep everything under our own control, of trust in the One who has everything ultimately in His control, even when we struggle to see this.

I will rest now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  1. Thank you for the encouragement Vera.

    This is so helpful: Resting is ….recognising that we cannot keep everything under our own control. Resting grows my faith.

  2. Hi Vera,

    I have been asking the same question the past few years as it became more and more apparent to me that I am not very good at the “resting” thing. I had to (and am still learning) how to rest. The seemingly easy practice I find quite complex sometimes – especially when being at home. I can relate to your second point. I think for myself it comes down to letting go and prioritizing. Thus deciding where to spend the time I have and letting the rest go WITHOUT being anxious… I find in order to let go I must REALLY believe that God guides our footsteps and provides according to His promises – that the outcome is not solely a product of my own effort.

    1. Thanks for your appreciation, Dipuo, and good to hear you are taking afternoon walks – great practice for rounding off the day with some self-care…

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