Today marks the beginning of my Thanksgiving break. I have no work or school for over a week, and I don’t have any major projects for work or school that I need to work on either, so I’m totally free.

I wanted to spend this time intentionally. I know how easy it would be for me to look back at the end of the break and realize I had done nothing besides nap, go on social media, and watch YouTube videos. I don’t want that.

This got me thinking about rest and vacation. There are some things in my life which are fake rest (not to be confused with fake news). These are the things that trick me into thinking I’m “taking a break” but aren’t restorative at all. These are things like scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, eating junk food, or staying up late. In the moment, I think that I’m taking a break or resting, or whatever. But I don’t feel any better afterwards. Usually, I feel worse.

These things aren’t always bad, it’s just that, if I’m seeking to feel restored or rested, these things aren’t going to do it for me.

For this long break, I am planning to do some non-rest things, like tackle some deep cleaning and organizing projects, make freezer meals, and begin Christmas shopping. But I also am trying to make a conscious effort to plan some restorative things. Real rest, not fake rest.

To start, I made a list of the things I wanted to get done. I then thought about some things that give me real rest, and added those to my to-do list as well. Here are some “real rest” ideas that I love:

  • Read a book (fiction, nonfiction, whatever)
  • Practice piano or guitar
  • Do hand lettering
  • Take a bubble bath, do a face mask, etc.
  • Talk to/ spend time with people I love
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Write, Journal, or Blog
  • Listen to music or podcasts

Of course, everyone is going to have different things that are real rest. I didn’t include my devotional, eating well, or working out in this list, but these are all things that I aim to do this week also. I just kind of consider them my baseline of things I need to do to feel my best.

Hopefully, with these things on my to-do list along with my projects and things, I can come out of this break feeling productive, restored, and ready to get back to work and school.

What things are real rest for you?