I have always seen rest as time set aside from daily tasks, never as days of idleness.
Rest means recuperation: to gain strength, form ideals and make plans. In other words it means a change of occupation, so that you can come back later with a new impetus to your daily job.
The example of Jesus
Whenever we get tired — in our work, in our studies, in our apostolic endeavours — when our horizon is darkened by lowering clouds, then let us turn our eyes to Jesus, to Jesus who is so good, and who also gets tired; to Jesus who is hungry and suffers thirst. Lord, how well you make yourself understood! How lovable you are! You show us that you are just like us, in everything but sin, so that we can feel utterly sure that, together with you, we can conquer all our evil inclinations, all our faults. For neither weariness nor hunger matter, nor thirst, nor tears... since Christ also grew weary, knew hunger, was thirsty, and wept. What is important is that we struggle to fulfil the will of our heavenly Father, battling away good-heartedly, for Our Lord is always at our side (cf. Jn 4:34).
Friends of God, 201
Cheerfulness, and supernatural and human optimism, can go hand in hand with physical tiredness, with sorrow, with tears (because we have a heart), and with difficulties in our interior life or our apostolic work.
He who is perfectus Deus, perfectus Homo — perfect God and perfect Man — and who enjoyed every happiness in Heaven, chose to experience fatigue and tiredness, tears and suffering... so that we might understand that if we are to be supernatural we must also be very human.
The Forge, 290
Setting to work again
You must fight against the tendency to be too lenient with yourselves. Everyone has this difficulty. Be demanding with yourselves! Sometimes we worry too much about our health, or about getting enough rest. Certainly it is necessary to rest, because we have to tackle our work each day with renewed vigour. But, as I wrote many years ago, ‘to rest is not to do nothing. It is to turn our attention to other activities that require less effort.’
Friends of God, 62
Seeking God in our rest
Why don’t you try converting your whole life into the service of God — your work and your rest, your tears and your smiles?
You can... and you must!
The Forge, 679
Strive never to lose this supernatural outlook, not even at times of rest or recreation, which are as important in our daily lives as is work itself.
Friends of God, 10
Setting a good example
Constantly call to mind that at every moment you are cooperating in the human and spiritual formation of those around you, and of all souls — for the blessed Communion of Saints reaches as far as that. At every moment: when you work and when you rest; when people see you happy or when they see you worried; when at your job, or out in the street, you pray as does a child of God and the peace of your soul shows through; when people see that you have suffered, that you have wept, and you smile.
The Forge, 846
With our Lady’s help
So your strength is fast failing you? Why don’t you say to your Mother, ‘comforter of the afflicted, help of Christians... our hope, Queen of apostles’?
The Way, 515