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Summary

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 groundbreaking 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.

Counting down through the top 10 activities which people find most restful, Hammond explains why rest matters, examines the science behind the results to establish what really works and offers a road map for a new, more restful and balanced life.

©2019 Claudia Hammond (P)2019 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Art of Rest

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Was ok but too personal more me

Really looking forward to this. But it kind of annoyed me how much the author talks about herself and what she thinks. Some people might like the person touch but all I kept thinking through the book was “I don’t care if you like doing this” or “I don’t care what your family member does”.

13 people found this helpful

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Limited perspective

This book had some interesting information and valuable messages. However, I didn't feel like it had a wide perspective on the topic of rest. It felt blinkered into Claudia’s perspective on life and that of western society. I also think that basing the whole book on one survey of activities that people find most restful is quite limiting.

Throughout the book a lot of opinion is given, not to say that opinion is invaluable but I was more interested in the research findings, and would have loved to hear a wider array of opinions.

On a number of occasions Claudia mentions the ‘correlation v causation issue’ giving examples of two related variables and saying we don’t know which causes the other, saying x could cause y or y could cause x. However these studies are relational, meaning they do not imply causation of ANY kind. So additionally z could cause x and y, or they might have no causal relationship at all.

I can see that Claudia has an MSc in health psychology but some of the language used implies that she doesn’t fully understand the research presented. Maybe she does understand and wanted to try to simplify it, but in doing so is making assumptions. I've read other books recently that are clear about the outcome of relational studies, it doesn't need to be complicated.

I know some people won’t care too much about this point but for me it devalues the information given. It is an important principle in basic statistics and I want to feel I can trust that the author is knowledgable in this domain. I don’t write reviews often and I don’t like being critical, I just wanted to share, as is becoming too common for people to misinterpret or oversimplify research.

Finally, I just wanted to acknowledge how easy it is for me to leave this critical review, in comparison to the work gone into writing this whole book. I'd love to see more on this topic of rest, the book certainly carries an important message in encouraging us to rest more.

9 people found this helpful

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Loved this audiobook

I was so attracted by the book title, listened to the sample audiobook and decided I would actually purchase both the audiobook & the hardcover book. It’s been an amazing experience listening/ reading this book. The personal touch by Claudia made me feel like listening/reading this book particularly restful (just as she said in the book!), that it wasn’t pure reporting research or test results. As I went through each chapter, I kept reflecting on how I feel about resting, what does rest mean to me, and how do I rest. There are so many people out there I’d love to recommend this book to. Thanks Claudia for bringing this book to life, I have truly enjoyed it and definitely have learned something new about rest :)!

6 people found this helpful

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excellent

As a Somatic Educator, I really enjoyed learning more about why active rest is important and listen to a few tips and discussions of studies (there are a lot of studies mentioned!). This book is not waxing on about how great restful activities are, but really discusses different aspects of and the historical perspectives on it. Highly recommended if you want to know why reading, gardening, running or watching tv, etc is actually restful.

5 people found this helpful

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science behind the opinions

The author backed her opinions up with a number of studies and emphasised the need for balance.




3 people found this helpful

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Very restful to listen

Great book, very insightful and read perfectly, loved the little humour pearls within.. highly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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This is a very long winded literature review!

I was seeking advise on how to relax and got a review on different research on the subject and other related topics. This presented me with the opposite to rest.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

insightful, witty and entertaining. No magic answers but it gives you good food for thought

1 person found this helpful

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Restful listening about rest

A science-backed survey of restful activities, read in a clear and pleasant manner by the author. I really enjoyed listening to this and reflecting on my own resting patterns. Meaningful topic, well executed.

1 person found this helpful

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good

lots of useful tips and ideas to try to rest up more..very nice narration