Home » Happiness Tip: Take Time to Rest

Happiness Tip: Take Time to Rest

This may be “the happiest time of year” for some, but if it isn’t for you, I think it’s at least in part because we get so darn tired. Let this be your friendly reminder to actually take time to rest between now and January 2nd.

I used to find it hard to rest at this time of the year because I wouldn’t take real vacation time — I’d close my office, but then still check email and keep up with people asking questions in my online classes. I’d be home, so that I can spend time with my kids who are also home from school, but I’d be working from home.

Eventually, I learned that working from home and trying to take some vacation time with the kids home is a terrible strategy for me. What would have been work in a quiet office became work in a busy holiday household of four teenagers, an active dog, and loads of visitors. If I were to accomplish anything at all, it would require Olympic-level multi-tasking and massive interruption management.

Research shows that this sort of multi-tasking tends to result in more errors, and makes us feel more exhausted. We humans need rest in order to be productive. We make better sprinters than marathoners when it comes to work; as much as we might like to be able to keep producing 24/7, our physical reality prevents this.

Take Action: This year, join me in resting more. I’ve changed; I’ll be taking well over a week of actual vacation time. I can’t wait to sit by the fire and read…and let myself fall asleep if I need to! The days are short–nature is helping us out on this one. I’ll be watching to see if this ironically helps me get more done during the week, as productivity experts would predict.

Join the Discussion: What can you cut out of your work or holiday schedule in the next week or so to make a little time for rest and relaxation? Can you clear some time to do nothing but recuperate? Share with us by commenting below!


  1. Erictskis says:

    Perfect timing Christine! Was just laying awake (at 3am) wondering how I am going to manage the holidays. As I plan for this year’s onslaught of activities and commitments, I’ll keep a “rest” day on hand to drop in each week (or more).

  2. busy mom says:

    I manage my stress by taking a nap every day im not working. My family knows about my naps, my friends know about it too. I schedule that naps like its a job! Even my kids tell me i need to go take my nap if they notice me getting cranky! Just a little down time every day does wonders for me!

  3. Carrie says:

    I actually just bought a pass to my favorite yoga studio, to ensure that I’m on my mat each week. It feels good to know that I’ll be doing that through the rest of the year. November is my “still” month in between back-to-school busyness and Christmas chaos so I’m trying to really enjoy this quiet time right now.

    • Wonderful. Lots of research that shows that “pre-committment” — like buying pre-paying for classes — reduces the willpower it takes to get yourself to do something. I hope others take inspiration from you! C

  4. Rebecca Pena says:

    I love sharing weekly yoga and getting to the gym at least twice a week with my fiancé. We also enjoy doing together Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge, and we will be in Belize for 10 days as of Dec. 30th! As a life coach I make sure to take time for myself and to “practice what I preach” with clients; balancing life with kids, as a couple and individually.

  5. Janine Kovac says:

    Sunday is our family day. We don’t run errands or “tag team with the kids” (“I’ll watch them for an hour so you can take a nap, you watch them so I can go work out”). It’s the family together. We don’t even do play dates, if we can help it. Sometimes we’ll meet another family or we’ll have a potluck or fun event, but it works out best for everyone if it’s a rest day. This is the ideal, of course, and I do have a standing appointment one Sunday a month, But otherwise, it’s our day of rest. (Saturday is CRAZY, though!)

  6. Hope says:

    Planning preparation time for Christmas allows consolidation of time and more personal time. For instance, in one hour I compile my list of people I intend to gift during the holidays, budget, where to shop, and how to deliver. This way I may do all my shopping in one day, have my gifts ready, or deliver at the right time. I always keep extra gifts if I miss any one. I try to keep the budget so that I do not add to my stress. I try to do all that early December and enjoy the rest of the season.

  7. Alex says:

    Love your work, Christine! I’m a clinical psychologist and reference The Sweet Spot often in my 10-week long positive psychology group therapy “course” I put together. Happy New Year

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