I’ll be honest, it’s very hard for me to relax.

When people tell me they watched six hours of “Friends” re-runs on the weekend I ask “how?” I can’t even sit through an entire movie—my husband has to pause it five times while go get water, snacks, lip gloss, fuzzy socks and the like.

I always feel like I should be “doing” something.

I’ve tried the typical suggestions: a glass of rose, lighting candles, taking a bath and reading a book. But I find my mind battling with lists of “to-dos,” re-hashing conversations I’ve had that I wish went better, or drifting off into a no man’s land of imagination.

My journey with finding true rest has been a long one, and one I’ve had to specifically cater toward my personality. I realize every person has a different relationship with “wellness,” and it can often be a buzzword with no tangible tips attached. At a recent Darling Retreat with Alaska Airlines at Timber Cove Resort in Sonoma, CA, I led some conversations on this topic and wanted to share some real how-tos that I’ve found success with that I hope spur you on toward self-care starting now.

Get Out of Your Normal Routine

When we are in our house, the same place where we experience lots of emotions—being late for work, cleaning up after our child, frustrations with our body image/what to wear, cooking and house-keeping—the space a carry a lot of negative weight and affect our ability to just sit and reflect; we are constantly looking around at all we possess and have responsibility for. Getting away for a small weekend trip or even a retreat with other women is necessary if we want a rhythm of rest and reset in our lives.

Understand Your Personality

The first workshop I taught was on the Enneagram. It has now become very trendy in the self-awareness space, but I was fortunately introduced to it over 10 years ago when I was seeing a counselor and going through a life crisis. He said, “Do you know that you’re a #1 on the Enneagram?” and I said, “Excuse me, are you trying to box me in? I am an original.” (Hence, most people’s reaction to personality tests). And then I proceeded to get a book on it and become addicted to the concept. I now have featured the philosophy several times through Darling and I recommend visiting The Enneagram Institute and taking the 10 minute test and then you’ll get sucked into a rabbit hole from there. It really does read your mail—you’ll find out how you function from your greatest desire and your greatest fear, and how that plays into how you see the world, how you care for yourself, and what you need to do for personal growth.

Reframe Your “Rest” Around Play

Also at the retreat, I asked my dear friend Jess Puccinelli who I believe is a perfect definition of “fun” to lead a workshop on “how to play.” The worksheets she handed out were even brightly colored and made us feel like kids again. The first exercise was a Venn diagram titled “What’s Owning Your Time” that we had to fill out with the two circles being “professional plate” and “personal” plate and of course, how they overlap. As I filled it in, I hardly had room and then exhaled and thought: ok so now that I see this all in front of me, now what? But Jess had already anticipated this response. She followed up with an exercise on identifying what’s truly most important and then learning how to say no to things through laying out your time, your ability, your money and your passion all on the table to learn how to establish a new rhythm.

Leave Your Phone Somewhere

That’s right, abandon it. If you bring it with you with the excuse of “I need it to take photos,” the second you start to feel “rest” overtake you, you’ll panic and reach for it to know what you should be doing or thinking or worrying about. Especially if you have a stressful job like I do where there are lots of moving parts, people and personalities—you never know how an e-mail you get can derail you. You have to change your mindset to “it’s not the end of the world,” and just take out time for you. We are so attached to our devices that they become almost a part of our brain and we get addicted to likes, to the adrenaline that comes with a conflict, or the feeling of being “important” by having lots to do. Apart from our phones, our social following, we can just be human. We are released from the high pressures of comparison by the exposure to anyone and everyone’s lives at any moment. We can be enough, just as we are—detached from the world and living in our own unique space.

Write it Out

Journaling is such a healing practice. We also took time to sit around the fireplace (phone free!) and process the workshops and conversations we were having. Also, try to only have one journal! Sometimes when you go to a lot of events or conferences, you are gifted tons of journals and find them all over your house, each half filled in. Pick a favorite, make it your friend. Then you can follow the story of your life more effectively and look back and see the progress you’ve made as well!

Happy resting! Be sure to book your next getaway with Alaska Airlines HERE.

This post is brought to you by Darling partner, Alaska Airlines. All thoughts and opinions remain Darling’s own.

Images shot by Darling and Alaska Airlines.

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