You need a rest! Why You Need A Siesta
Simplify & Slow Down

How to Take a Siesta: Implementing Rest Time This Summer

What is a siesta?

What is a siesta, you ask? A siesta is an afternoon rest or nap, especially in the hottest part of the day. 

A siesta is NOT a nap for your child or husband, while you run around and get housework done or pick up groceries by yourself. A siesta is for you, too, mama.  Everyone needs to take a siesta!

A siesta should mean the whole house shuts down. It gets quiet. Still.

Our afternoon

My kids still nap. They are ages five, four, and four and they all still take an afternoon nap. (My kindergartener obviously would be in school, but still naps on weekends. Summer is back to naps!) This is, and always has been, sacred to us. We’ve cultivated our family routine to honor this break for our household.  

Every family will look different and I’m going to get into that in a bit. But this is what works for us. 

We eat an early lunch and let the kids play for a little bit after. Around noon, the kids go for a nap and the adults slow down. It coincides well with my husband’s lunch break from work.  

Sometimes slowing down means reading or crocheting for me. Often it means a few minutes of tv for my husband. But with the kids peacefully napping after a long morning of high-energy play, we usually doze off as well.  

Our kids will nap for over 2 hours if we let them, so we do have to cut them off. And I personally only “shut down” for 20-30 minutes so I can still accomplish other things I need to do without distraction.  

But that 20-30 minutes is all I need to reset my day!

Why do you need a siesta?

Summer is amazing. We have long days of break-of-dawn to sun-goes-down outdoor play. It’s my absolute favorite. But longer days mean you go-go-go way longer than other times of the year.  

Just because this play is fun doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting or energy-sucking. Being in the sun or heat for long hours is depleting, physically and mentally.  

We all need to replenish our energy sources throughout the day! Give into the siesta and you will have more energy for the rest of your day and into your evening.  

When to take a siesta

This will be different for everyone. As a parent with small children, nap times are perfect times to instate a siesta rule.  

Lunch breaks work well if you’re home and have time. But you could also close your eyes for 15 minutes after getting home from work and before starting your nightly routine. Just encourage the rest of your household to slow down at the same time. 

If you’re a morning person, an earlier siesta would make sense for you and your family. But if you tend to stay up late, consider having one late afternoon to help you be your best in the later evenings. 

If you have kids and you’re outside all day, definitely take a siesta at the hottest part of the day. Come inside, cool off, rest your body, and hit up the backyard an hour later, refreshed and read for more fun.

Where to take a siesta

The location of your siesta may not be your bed. And that’s okay. 

Do you always fall asleep on the couch and wake up refreshed? Boom. Siesta.  

Do you prefer resting outside in the shade with a light breeze to the soundtrack of nature? Go for it. 

Some of my best naps are on the floor. I pile up our floor pillows, get cozy, and set my alarm for 20 minutes. Perfecto. 

That being said, your bed is totally acceptable. If you want to add another layer of luxury and relaxation to your siesta, keep reading for some totally-unnecessary-but-awesome ideas.

Implement Rest Time This Summer

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How to take a siesta

Remember those vacation naps where you fall asleep on a beach chair or a slowly rocking boat? Best naps ever. Channel that vibe for your sacred siesta time.  

If something is nagging you that you want to get done, do that first. Don’t go into your siesta thinking about your to-do list. Try to let things go and be in a blissful state. 

My break time looks like this: 

  1. Small tasks that take very little time and need to be completed (feeding the dogs, switching the laundry to the dryer, etc). Not more than 10-15 minutes of these tiny tasks.
  2. Slow down to prepare for the siesta. I read or crochet to slow my body and allow my mind to move away from chores and into what I’m doing.  Depending on how much time you have, this could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 or more.
  3. Find a comfy spot and lay down for 20-30 minutes. 

Laying down and closing your eyes is 75% of the way to sleeping (a totally made-up statistic). That’s the hardest part! If you fall asleep, great. But even if you don’t, you’re resting your body and your brain and slowing your breath. We all need that daily. 

Don’t forget that this siesta should be at a time for the whole house to rest. Slow things down…shut things down. Kids should be encouraged to nap or do quiet times in their room, spouses should be made aware that this is happening so you don’t get 20 texts right as you’re trying to get into your relaxation time. The house should be quiet. Shhhh…

Luxuries for the perfect siesta

We truly don’t need anything for a siesta. But why not make it a thing and step up your relaxation game? Here are a few things to take your siesta to the next level, guided by our senses.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I only link to products I have personally used or researched. 

(Click on the product photo to be taken to Amazon)

Sight

You really don’t want to see anything while you’re napping. But depending on where that may be, here are some suggestions for your afternoon siesta: 

A floppy wide-brim sun hat

Retro oversized dark sunglasses

A revitalizing eye mask 

Light-blocking eye mask

Smell

Let your sense of smell lull you into a serene afternoon.

Incense 

Himalayan Salt Aromatherapy Diffuser

Calm essential oil roll-on blend

Touch

No matter how hot it is, I always need to sleep with a blanket. I feel too exposed otherwise! Stay cool in the summer with this lightweight cotton muslin blanket. Don’t forget the hair and face – keep everything in place with a silk pillowcase. 

Cotton muslin throw blanket

Mulberry silk pillowcase

You could also opt for a cozy hammock in the great outdoors!

Organic cotton hammock

Hear

Get super relaxed with a bubbling brook water feature or use a sound machine to emulate whatever sound puts you in deepest relaxation. 

Tabletop water fountain

White noise machine

Best Selling Wind Chimes

The perfect siesta

Does the perfect siesta exist? I don’t know…probably. But I do know that any step you take to an afternoon break for yourself is worth the effort. Summer days are long. Take time for yourself and put the household on notice. Initiate a summer siesta and your whole family will benefit.  

Drop a comment if this summer siesta idea excites you!

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More posts from my Simplify & Slow Down series:

Secrets of the 100 Day Dress Challenge
How to Create a Daily Uniform and Save Your Sanity
Declutter These 10 Toys Now
How to Slow Down with a 5-Finger Affirmation Practice
How to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less
How to Simplify Your Kids’ Clothes with 5 Questions

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