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How To Rest And Recharge: Bringing Balance To Your Life And Work


When was the last time you rested?

Truly just put aside some time – a minute or an hour – to do whatever it is that recharges you.

And what is that for you anyway?

What does rest look like – for you?

Is it kicking back and taking the phone off the hook and just breathing in the sun?

Or do you rest best while you’re mindfully engaged in some activity – like maybe gardening or cooking or drawing or something else – where your mind can get involved just enough in the minute-by-minute process that it can let go of holding onto everything else?

Rest seems underrated sometimes. Misconstrued. Painted in the colours of lazy or unambitious. And then compared to the razzle dazzle ‘importance’ that busyness likes to decorate itself in.

But maybe rest is at least as important as busyness…

Apparently, in traditional farming practices, the fields were often rotated. One field was allowed to lay fallow for a while – not to have to be quite so obviously ‘useful’ or ‘busy’, ‘required’ or ‘involved’ all the time. Instead, it had the time and space to find its own vital force again. To only do the work of replenishing itself through nourishment and rest.

Are there parts of you that could use a break like this?

What might it feel like to just follow that impulse and let yourself fall into it for a moment?
Or an hour.
Or a day.

Perhaps rest is a rescue from the hard stuff in life. The opposite of depletion. The opposite of overwhelm. An antidote for burnout.

And maybe, despite our western workaholic ways, rest can be just as important as action. Maybe it’s a kind of therapy where you can be both the therapist and the client.  Maybe, just like in the fields, rest can add a calming, quiet balance to the cycles of your life.


Text and photos copyright: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.
How To Rest And Recharge: Bringing Balance To Your Life And Work

Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

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APA Reference
Gawne-Kelnar, G. (2012). How To Rest And Recharge: Bringing Balance To Your Life And Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 May 2012
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