I’m on holiday, so normal posting – every Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons – will resume next week.

In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with a question that I’ve been mulling recently – what really brings you rest?

One of the things I’ve found destructive is spending time doing things in the name of “a break” or “rest” that don’t really rejuvenate me, that don’t really refresh me, that don’t really energise me, that don’t really bring me life. It’s easy to zone out or get into escapist or addictive activities in the name of needing a break. Then I finish them and find myself no more rested than when I started them.

I feel amazing when I work hard and rest well, but I do find that balance hard to strike. In fact, if I’m honest, giving myself permission to really rest, and to rest well, has been one of those issues that I’ve spiralled back around to many times. I’ll think I’ve cracked it, get on with life, and then I find myself in back in the same spot revisiting rest again, though a little higher up the spiral staircase of life this time. Each time I clock round that spiral, though, I learn a little more, and one of the things that I have been learning is what I really find restful. For example, walking in the countryside is restful for me, but watching trashy television isn’t. Playing around creatively with scrapbooks and photo albums is restful, but spending time on facebook isn’t. Exploring foreign countries is restful, but exploring a museum isn’t. Sitting in front of an amazing view is restful, but speaking on the phone, even to close friends, isn’t. Reading a great novel can be restful, but reading the paper isn’t.

So here’s a question to reflect on today: what really brings you rest?