A woman sitting on a dock by the water.

The Art of Rest Day: Reviving an Essential Skill for Modern Living

A day of rest is such an important and beautiful skill that we seem to have side stepped in hopes of being more productive or perhaps earning more income.

A woman sitting on a dock by the water.

But is it worth it? People are finding themselves more tired and worn out than ever! You start the next week without having a reset, only to feel just as worn out and unfulfilled.

The art of the rest day

If you read the title and thought, “okay resting isn’t an art, what is this girl going on about?”. Hear me out!

A day of rest takes skill and planning. Older generations always took a rest day and knew exactly how to do it.

A white pitcher with flowers in it. There is an open book beside with glasses on top. On the table is a cup of coffee.

My grandparents, on Sunday, had a rest day which they called visiting day. They spent the day going to friends’ or family’s homes. Or our family would come over to our house. We would celebrate with good food, kids and adults would play outside together, a fun social event, weekly!

Isn’t the day of rest only for religious people?

A day of rest is observed in many religions. However, I would bet that in this modern age, few observe a true rest day.

Taking a day of rest is important for everyone. It helps you reset your week. Start your new week fresh with a clean and clear mindset. You will be better equipped to tackle the tasks ahead!

There is a group of kids on the beach playing

A day of rest for homemakers

This may seem especially hard for homemakers. Everything you need to do in the home is still there needing to be tackled every sing day!

Living and being completely immersed and surrounded by your “job” can be quite tiering and overwhelming! This is why a day of rest is especially important for the homemaker!

I don’t have time!

The goal is to take a full 24 hours of rest. This may seem unreachable! That is okay, start off small. Maybe you can start with just an afternoon or an evening.

Like any skill, it takes practice; yes, even resting! The more you practice the more you will find that you do have the time to make it work!

There is someone sitting at a wooden table. There are two cups with a coffee drink and a cupcake off to the side.

Don’t wait for an opening on your calendar, where you can dedicate time. Just start!

There are no rules or regulation or hours you have to put in. This is a break from all of that!

How to start

When you’re first starting, it’s good to pick a beginning and end time. That way you know not to plan anything “work related” during those hours.

Ideas for rest day

  • Light candles, or use soft lighting in the evening
  • Take a walk
  • Read a favourite book
  • Share a meal with friends or family
  • Play games with your kids
  • Go to the park
  • Take a nap
  • Visit a museum
  • Do things close by that a tourist might do
  • Plan a picnic
  • Take a day trip to a restful attraction near by that you love
  • Let each person pick a favourite activity
A little girl paddle boarding in the ocean

Preparing for rest day

This may seem like a no brainer, but proper planning will actually make rest day restful and stress-free!

Take the day before to plan what you want to do and what you need. This is kind of like a mini vacation after all!

~Go to the grocery store or shop for anything you may need.

~Premake your meals for the day.

A bowl of rolled ice cream. There is whipped cream and chocolate chips on top.

~ Plan your special day with things everyone will enjoy!

~ Words have power! Instead of saying “No video games today!” or “Stop using your phone”, try using positive words like, “Let’s try to be free from electronic distractions today, and have fun at the park!”

  • All of those sentences mean the same thing, but two of them feel like rules and commands and one of them feels like joy and freedom!

A day of rest looks different for everyone!

Your day of rest is unique to you, your stage in life, and what type of personality you have.


  • Spend the day with friends and family
  • Take an afternoon nap
  • Read a favourite book
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Meet up with a friend at a café
  • Visit a spa
A person getting a massage

~Young couples

  • Read a favourite book in a cozy spot
  • Have an afternoon nap
  • Visit friends and family
  • Plan a date night (Paint night, pottery class, spa etc.)
  • Avoid hard conversation or work related topics
  • Allow each person to pick activities they find restful. Some people find being alone restful and some love being surrounded by people.
  • A day trip to a near by attraction
Children walking through a tunnel

~Families with young children

  • Take turns watching young children so the other can nap, read, or get away for some alone time.
  • Go to the park as a family
  • Everyone take an afternoon nap
  • Have quiet time. Kids can have special quiet time activities or toys you only bring out on rest days.
  • Go on a walk in nature. Young kids love exploring!
  • Create a scavenger hunt together. (My kids love this!)
  • Everyone picks one favourite activity and the whole family does it.
  • Get together with other young families.
Kids in an aquarium pointing and looking at fish

What if I mess up?

Sometimes life happens and your day of rest gets thrown out the window. That doesn’t mean you should give it up all together! It takes a long time to develop a routine and rhythm.

Rest days should be something you look forward to, not something you are dreading! If you find that this is happening, reevaluate, change things up. Plan to do it every other week or on a different day!

Soon you will find that the benefits of taking time for you and your family to be together, celebrating life and relationships, will affect all areas of your life in positive ways!

A painting of a woman sleeping with a baby asleep on top of her.

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Like this!

Help make time in your busy schedule for yourself! A new calendar and challenge each month!

A pinterest pin showing a small table with a cup of coffee and vase with flowers, and open book with glasses on top.

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