How To Rest Your Way To Success


Sleep and rest – Oh how I’ve come to appreciate both!

In my younger and more foolish days, I skimped on sleep and rarely stopped doing. Some of that was the byproduct of being mom – I know many of you relate. Kids have a knack for disturbing your sleep and rousing you at the crack of dawn! And some of that was out of my own funky beliefs and thinking driving me to do more in hopes of mattering more.

These days, I relish a slower pace and look forward to sneaking in an extra hour or two of sleep on Saturday mornings! And I unplug on Sundays and truly rest.

I’ve discovered that making enough space for rest and sleep in my life requires faith. I must believe that it’s possible to do what God’s called me to do successfully by working hard within specific boundaries AND taking the time to rest and get enough sleep.

Have you noticed how fear fools you into thinking that you must work harder and longer and faster and better? The more you give into that kind of thinking the less sleep and rest you get. Turns out, operating from a sleep deficit not only makes you less effective, but it also is exhausting!

Kids Know!

Odds are great that you haven’t always viewed sleep or rest the way you do today! Remember spending the day at the park, the beach, or an amusement park when you were a child, a day bursting with activity and wonder? You played until you just couldn’t play anymore. On the way home, you drifted to sleep in the back seat of the car knowing that you would be well taken care of. You were relaxed and completely at peace. Those were sweet moments!

Fast forward and the adult pressures of life seem to crowd out your peaceful sleeping moments! It feels like your to do list grows daily, while less and less gets checked off! Before you know it, you are going a hundred miles an hour all day and then dragging yourself to bed late only to struggle to fall asleep. If you’ve ever experienced the fight to find sleep, you know that it’s miserable.  And getting up the next morning – it’s rough!

Sleep & Rest

When God created us, He created us to be human beings, not human doings. He intended that we would have a rhythm of work and rest. When we rest more than we were meant to, we miss out on making a positive contribution. That same is true when we work too much.

It’s truly a gift to pause! To slow down and regroup is not only healthy for you, it ultimately makes you more productive too. And pausing is easier when you know that you are abundantly loved by God and that He is at work even when you aren’t!

Yet, every day I bet you rub shoulders with people who are racing through life and are utterly exhausted! Maybe you are one of those people!

Did you know…

There are some pretty sweet perks to getting enough sleep and taking time to regularly rest like…

  • Improving your memory
  • Better health – sleep curbs inflammation and lowers the chances of a heart attack and diabetes
  • Lowering stress
  • Decreasing the chance of depression
  • Igniting your creativity
  • Enhancing your physical performance
  • Increasing your ability to pay attention and learn
  • Helping you maintain a healthy weight
  • Supporting better problem solving
  • Making fewer mistakes
  • Protecting you from illness
  • Boosting your mood and energy and positively affecting your attitude
  • And making you happier!

The trick: getting that rest!

What if all the “going and doing” is actually working against you? What if the endless hard work is actually diluting your efforts? Would you be willing to make changes if you knew that having a regular rhythm of rest not only made life and work more pleasant, efficient, and effective?

Take the Leap!

You may not be able to see how you will be able to meet your deadlines or goals or fit in all you have on your plate right now either, but that’s what faith is all about. Moving forward when you aren’t able to see the way forward.

Feeling brave? Then keep the following in mind as you weave more rest into your life:

1. Address Your Thinking

How do you view rest? Is it something you earn after completing everything on your “to do” list? Is rest a luxury, a waste of time, or a sign of weakness? Or is rest something necessary or that you “get to do”?

Be honest – what beliefs keep you from resting? Have you bought into the lie that everything hinges on what you do, so you just keep on doing? Or perhaps fear has tricked you into thinking you have to do more and more to be successful or happy or worthy or enough!

When you rest, you acknowledge that God’s role is powerful! You allow Him space to work on your behalf. Do you trust Him to do that?

2. Seek More Sleep

Getting enough rest begins with going to bed at a reasonable hour each night. That means that you have to be intentional about what time you want to wind down and begin your evening routine.

You need to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep a night. With that in mind, what time do you need to wind down and begin your bedtime routine?

How you prepare to sleep is important. Small changes like turning off the TV and other electronics, including your phone, before bedtime make a big difference.

Some other suggestions:

      • Be more active during the day.
      • Spend a few minutes reading a book or praying.
      • Do a brain dump – write down all the things you need to do the next day. With your mind free sleep comes easier!
      • Listen to calming music.
      • Take a warm bath with lavender.
      • Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
      • Keep your bedroom clutter free and cool at night.
      • Consider supplements like magnesium or tryptophan.
      • Skip substances like alcohol or caffeine that interfere with sleep.

Find a way to let your body know that it’s time to rest so you can get the sleep you need.

3. Observe the Sabbath

Even though observing the Sabbath is an Old Testament command, taking a day of rest each week is a beneficial practice. While traditionally that day is Sunday, it just needs to be a day of the week that you regularly set aside to rest and take a break from your regular routine, especially work, and slow down.

Many years ago, my husband and I believed it was necessary to work on Sundays in an effort to meet deadlines for our publishing company. It felt like we were working all the time and we were more frazzled than we wanted to be. God challenged us to honor the Sabbath and to truly rest on Sundays and to trust Him to work out the details around meeting our deadlines, and we did.

Funny thing, not only did we feel more rested and focused after taking Sunday off, we also consistently met our deadlines! That’s success!

4. Take Breaks

Getting enough sleep and taking a day of rest are wonderful, however, taking periodic breaks to clear your mind and refresh your soul throughout the day are also an amazing way to regroup. When you resume working you’ll be surprised at how much better you are able to focus!!

If you work at a desk, get in the habit of working for an hour and then getting up and moving around for 5-10 minutes.

Is the majority of your day spent standing? Then take a moment to sit down and put your feet up.

However you spend the bulk of your day, find a way to pause, take a break – maybe even a nap!

Schedule downtime, vacations, and staycations on your calendar! Those longer get-a-ways are life giving and I promise you will return brimming with new ideas and energy!

If you are a leader, remember it’s OK to block out times when you just aren’t available!

5. Trust Your Limits

Is the load you are currently carrying sustainable? If rest is a priority, you will have to fight for it! Resting the way you need to may require you to eliminate some tasks or responsibilities from your life or work.

If resting doesn’t fit into your life right now, chances are that you are attempting to do more than God meant for you to do. God knows your limits. He will stretch you, grow you, and change you, yet He doesn’t give you more than you are able to handle!

How will you rest your way to success? What rhythm of rest is best for you?

This post was originally posted on 11/8/16 – it has been updated and revised just for you!

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. April on November 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    You caught me with this line: “How do you view rest? Is it something you earn after completing everything on your “to do” list?” Um…yes! And compounding the problem, the list is rarely done because I can always think of more! 🙁 I’ve found that the only way I truly relax is if I am physically away from home and its responsibilities.

    I would love to hear any tips you might have for ways to help one’s mind take intermittent breaks while AT home/work. Thanks for the convincing reminder that breaks are necessary in order to be at our best.

    • Marvae on November 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      So back to the “how do you view rest” thought… What is it that drives your perpetual “to doing?” That thought/belief is at the root of all the endless doing. When you change your perspective on the doing it will make it possible to enjoy the rest. Things like wanting approval, earning worthiness, feeling like your value hinges on what you do because who you are is not enough… they keep you in perpetual motion and wear you out! God sees you as 100% valuable – there is nothing you can do to earn more of His love or approval.

      For me personally… I have to be vigilant about not multitasking and working in one hour blocks with a break in-between hours. Initially you might feel like you get less done, but in the long run the quality of your work makes up for lost time, not to mention that being fully present make so much more enjoyable!

      Not having to escape to enjoy a break – that would be wonderful! I look forward to hearing how it goes!

Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.