A woman resting on a pier
Health + Wellness

Resting: When Taking It Easy Doesn’t Come Easy

Posted on in Health + Wellness · Uncategorized

After a recent surgery, my doctor prescribed resting and explicit directions to avoid bending my new prosthetic hip beyond 90 degrees. This precaution required the use of several medical aids including a grabber, a six-inch foam cushion and a raised toilet seat.

I was fine affixing my cushion to my backpack while on crutches, but BYOTS (Bring Your Own Toilet Seat) I could not. Using a raised toilet seat certainly limited my outings.

Although my trips were limited, I still found it challenging to take it easy.

Probably the greatest challenge of hip-replacement is that you feel pretty good afterwards — at least compared to the pre-surgery pain. Yes, there’s the localized pain of the incision and staples; but I welcomed the intensity of the temporary pain replacing the nagging, enduring, sleeplessness caused by severe advanced osteoarthritis.

Chronically busy

Once accused of needing to be “busy”, I am indeed a chronic doer. Whether dishes in the sink, laundry in the hamper or email responses, I find it difficult to rest when things need to be done. Occasionally arriving late, but usually just on time, I often unnecessarily delay myself by trying to accomplish just one more thing.

Unfortunately, after my second hip-replacement, I injured myself — twice — trying to do too much too soon.

After these setbacks, I received a marvelous gift from my sweetheart.

When I asked him what he was doing horizontal on the sofa, he replied, “resting.”

The gift of words

Resting? Really? How can anyone rest when there are dishes nagging and socks stinking?

But he could. And he does. And he also has excellent time-management skills.

He’s helped me understand the art of enjoying down time. Even if it is prescribed by your doctor — especially when it is prescribed by your doctor.

So, to help you buck the Puritanical work ethic and curtail feelings of guilt for relaxing, I offer you active verbs to describe your apparent inactivity.

When tired, ill, injured or post-op, try these resting verbs…

  • Healing
  • Mending
  • Recharging
  • Recovering
  • Recuperating
  • Rejuvenating
  • Relaxing
  • Resting
  • Self-caring

Resting verbs for intellectual situations…

  • Analyzing
  • Contemplating
  • Considering
  • Processing
  • Pondering
  • Ruminating
  • Thinking
  • Understanding

Resting verbs for school…

  • Imagining
  • Creating
  • Learning
  • Reflecting

Resting verbs for work…

  • Crafting
  • Drafting
  • Estimating
  • Evaluating
  • Innovating
  • Judging
  • Prioritizing
  • Questioning
  • Refocusing
  • Revisioning
  • Solving
  • Strategizing

Verbs for stillness…

  • Appreciating
  • Being
  • Breathing
  • Feeling
  • Meditating
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Quieting
  • Restoring

Verbs for feeling the effects of aging…

  • Combating mental decline
  • Memorizing new facts
  • Practicing mental acuity
  • Remembering names and dates

For feeling carefree…

  • Chilling
  • Dreaming
  • Enjoying
  • Marveling
  • Wondering

For feeling sexy…

  • Fantasizing
  • Lounging
  • Romanticizing

For feeling impish or antagonistic…

  • Conspiring
  • Planning
  • Premeditating
  • Scheming

For feeling proud…

  • Enjoying
  • Liking
  • Relishing

For feeling green…

  • Conserving energy
  • Recycling cognition
  • Reducing consumption
  • Remembering

For self-flagellating…

  • Fixating
  • Futzing
  • Lazing
  • Obsessing
  • Perseverating
  • Procrastinating
  • Stressing
  • Vegetating

For feeling full…

  • Digesting
  • Refueling
  • Savouring

For uncertainty of what you need…

  • Desiring
  • Languishing
  • Mind Wandering
  • Thinking
  • Yearning
  • Zoning out

Survey says

According to the Association for Psychological Science’s summary of a survey conducted by Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, not all rest is idleness. The paper, Rest Is Not Idleness: Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being, indicates that while some people perceive rest as unproductive time, the researchers suggest that reflection is essential for learning. It enables us to learn from past experiences and consider the effect of our experiences on future outcomes. Rest and reflection allow us to better understand ourselves, to grow and to learn.

Parting gift

If you’re like me, prone to guilt for doing nothing or chastising yourself for being lazy, perhaps these words can serve as a gift to you. Or perhaps they can spur your creativity to think of a few other verbs. There is indeed an art to actively describing your state of apparent inactivity.