If you don’t stop, don’t believe: why rest is essential in creative work


At present, it seems impossible to allow ourselves moments of pause. It seems unprofessional not to spend all day working. It seems that if you are not very busy you are not having success. It seems that if you spend time resting you are not being productive. It seems that if you stop, you will be out of phase in a matter of seconds and you will be missing endless opportunities.

It is true that since the industrial revolution, society has been moving closer to a totally interconnected world where constant advances, technology that is so present and the oversaturation of information and proposals have led us to a state of continuous movement, unprecedented updates and fleetingness.

But if we do not allow ourselves spaces to rest, to digest everything that happens around us, and we begin to understand the role that pause has in our lives, we will be missing out on a healthy and healing tool to cultivate our own creativity.

If we constantly live in a rough sea, we will integrate it as usual and routine; and in the end, we will forget everything that sailing in calm waters brought us and we will not look for new directions to get out of said storm.


Whether we work within the sector defined as creative or another totally different one, creativity is necessary and relevant in order to continue innovating and improving. There is so much on offer that it has become a tool that helps us enhance our differentiation and refine what we contribute. So learning to manage and activate it opens doors, windows, balconies, gardens and oceans for us.

Assume your right to rest

“A life that takes rest seriously is not only more creative. When we assume the right to rest, we make rest something gratifying and if we practice it from day to day and year after year, we are making our lives richer and more pleasant. The phrase is taken from the book Rest, produce more by working less, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang.

Reviewing what it is that moves us when we try to rest and we cannot is what we must work on so that we accept and defend the role of rest in our lives. Sometimes, it comes directly from society, but other times our closest environment and the beliefs that we have created and imposed on ourselves are added.

The revelation of pauses

In the 1990s, several neuroscientists such as Biswal and Raichle began to develop various studies in relation to RND or Default Neural Network, a set of brain regions that are activated when the brain is in a resting state; and found that it was not inactive at all.

Even the father of neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, affirmed that “when we rest and let our minds expand, our intellectual capacities are active, just like when we concentrate deeply on a problem”.

So once we know that it is not just about sensations or intuition, but that our own mind continues to function at full capacity when we rest, what better way to give ourselves the opportunity to dig deeper and try more often what the pause periods bring us.

Create your own rest spaces, disconnect from technology for short or longer periods, practice a hobby that has nothing to do with your work. Do not look so much at the competition and focus on what you can contribute. Invest in yourself and get out of your comfort zone, connect with nature…

These are just some of the aspects that you can start to act on.

key break in the creative process

Live and work in and calmly

In the end, what it is about is that each one finds his own formula and for this you have to test, without prejudice. Creating the habit of cultivating the practice of deliberate breaks stimulates our most creative part and, therefore, we must include, in the same way that we add working hours, a defined time for rest.

Living and working calmly means doing it from our own inner peace. It is that intrinsic state that we must listen to respect what it asks of us instead of listening out what it seems we should be and do.

Living and working calmly means doing it respecting our own individual tempos and the rhythm with which we want to live. It is learning to dedicate the time that each one of the aspects of our life deserves. It is create a compensated routine that fills us and that allows us moments of relaxation.

Investigating and discovering which moments work best for us is a very powerful exercise, as is their duration. Because it is not about directly taking a sabbatical year or dreaming of a four-month vacation, but about seeking balance in the daily routine.

If we revalue the role that rest has in our lives and invite it to be a fundamental part of our daily routine, we will be able to follow the path we need to create spaces that feed our creativity.