Reading with Kat

Working Mother Book Blogger

I just finished this fantastic book, it was easy to read and only 7 hours on Audible. The author is the narrator, and she is very good (that almost never happens).

Official blurb:

Today busyness has become a badge of honour. We want to say we’re busy, yet at the same time we feel exhausted. Instead we should start taking rest seriously as a method of self-care and this book can help us to work out how.

The Art of Rest draws on ground-breaking research Claudia Hammond collaborated on – ‘The Rest Test’ – the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken, which was completed by 18,000 people across 135 different countries. Much of value has been written about sleep, but rest is different; it is how we unwind, calm our minds and recharge our bodies. And, as the survey revealed, how much rest you get is directly linked to your sense of well-being.

My thoughts:

I loved how the book takes you through the top 10 restful activities as voted on by 18,000 people. Not only does she take the reader through each of the top ten restful activities, but she explains what research there is to back this up, why is it restful, how is it restful, who finds it restful, in what amounts is it restful. It was fascinating and helpful. I am one of those busy busy people, I work full time, I have two young children that I drop off and pick up from school most days, I work compressed hours so I am able to do that but it makes for very long busy days; and yes rest does not always form a large part of my day.

TV is Not Toxic

I was reassured that watching TV is not as bad as they make it out to be; not only is it supremely restful, but it is not harmful, except in excess of about 5 hours per day, so that makes me feel better as I binge watch “Grey’s Anatomy” as I write this blog post. It can even help with depression and loneliness.

Alone-time is necessary (and does not make you a loner)

I was pleased to see that spending time alone is restful and restorative and is also in the top ten. Apparently we should be spending 39% of our time alone for our mental health. This explains why I have been finding it so difficult for the last 18 months, being forced to stay at home, to live and work and play at home. I haven’t been to my place of work for 18 months, I miss my colleagues, but I also miss the alone time. I miss being in my house alone (which never happens now) and I miss going out to work alone. I didn’t know that it was okay to want to be alone sometimes even when I am an extravert and I miss my friends and family.

I was suprised to see that walking came into the top 10 restful activities, as I personally do not find walking very restful. However, I know a lot of people do, that’s just me being different again.

Reading is number one!

Finally, I was super, super excited to read that the number one restful activity as voted on by 18,000 people was reading!!! As someone who absolutely adores and craves reading, and wishes that her son loved reading, I was so pleased to see it voted as the number 1 restful activity. According to the research those who read (novels not newspapers) live 2 years longer than those who do not. Whoop! Let’s give it up to us book bloggers.

So Claudia Hammond comes up with some advice for introducing more rest into your daily lives. Firstly she highlights that on average we should be getting about 5 hours of rest per day (on average over the week), some days will be less, and perhaps more on the weekend, but that is what is recommended. As a working mother that seems impossible to me, but a nice thing to aspire to. You have to pay attention to the times when you are actually resting, and note it as rest. For example, going for a walk, being in nature, listening to music, watching tv, reading a book, doing nothing – they are all restful, take note and lean into them.

Box of Rest

Finally she suggests setting up a “Box of Rest” ready for those times when you really need to rest, or when you are feeling a little down or even depressed. This box will be waiting there to remind you what you like to do that will help you to rest and restore you.

My box of rest would contain: a couple of my favourite books (of course) perhaps Tara Road (my favourite book), an album by 112 (my favourite band), a DVD or my cinema card, because I love watching movies (About Time is one of my faves), my painting by numbers work as I find that restful, a jigsaw and my diary to write in.

What would you put in your box of rest?

9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Art of Rest

  1. Lexlingua says:

    Good to know that TV isn’t just the idiot box! Haha. But seriously, the Art of Rest gets it so right — reading is the most relaxing thing I can think of. Reliable, and you get to choose your own medium, pace, method etc. etc. etc… Now we have scientific evidence to support this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. katchambers says:

      That’s what I thought when I read it, I felt…vindicated! It’s a great book, you should give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lark says:

    Reading and alone time…I’m for both of those! 🙂


  3. Greg says:

    This sounds super interesting. And yay for TV haha! I can watch Netflix with a little less guilt now. 🙂 And readers live longer??!?

    Also, thank you for letting me know about not being able to click on my name and get to my blog. I think it’s because if I comment using my WordPress account (which it defaults to sometimes) it wants to go to WordPress but I’m on Blogger. Ha it took me a few minutes to figure that out lol.


  4. Great review! To relax, I like listening to music, going for a walk in nature, and – of course – reading! It’s nice to see that reading is #1 on the list. I will definitely check out this book sometime to learn more about rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. katchambers says:

      Music and being in nature were in the top 10 too!


  5. alisbooks says:

    Rest and reading?? Sounds like you can’t go wrong with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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