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The Art of Rest, with Claudia Hammond and Helen Czerski

The author of 'The Art of Rest' explains that rest is not just a matter of doing nothing – it is a vital part of self-care

The pandemic of 2020 has turned our lives upside down. Home working and home schooling have become the norm for millions of us. And while you might think that the absence of long commutes, live entertainment and late-night socialising means we are more rested, many of us are more frazzled than ever, finding it difficult to separate work from downtime and unable to take proper time out for ourselves. And when we do, we often feel guilty that we aren’t doing something more productive. 

In this live event, Claudia Hammond explained that rest is not just a matter of doing nothing – it is a vital part of self-care. Her book, The Art of Rest, draws on ground-breaking research she uncovered through ‘The Rest Test’, the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken, which was completed by 18,000 people across 135 different countries. Much has been written on the value of sleep in recent years, 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 ten activities which people find most restful, Hammond explained why rest matters, examined the science behind the results of what really works and offered a roadmap for a new, more restful and balanced life.

Hammond was in conversation with Helen Czerski, BBC science presenter.


Praise for The Art of Rest:

“Claudia Hammond’s superb book reminds us of a truth that’s too often forgotten: that rest isn’t just an indulgence, but an essential part of a life lived well”  – Dr Rangan Chatterjee

At a time when our waking lives appear to be more frantic and distracted than ever before, switching off has never been more of a challenge. The Art of Rest equips us with fresh research and information on how to rest more, and rest better, to get the most out of life. Reading it is a rest itself.” – Matt Haig



Claudia Hammond

Award-winning writer and broadcaster

Award-winning writer and broadcaster. As the presenter of 'All in the Mind' she is BBC Radio 4's voice of psychology and mental health. She is also Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has been awarded the President's Medal from the British Academy, the British Psychological Society's Public Engagement & Media Award, Mind's Making a Difference Award and the British Neuroscience Association's Public Understanding of Neuroscience Award. She is the author of The Art of Rest, Emotional Rollercoaster, Mind over Money and Time Warped, winner of the British Psychological Society's Best Popular Science Book Award and the Aeon Transmission Award.

Helen Czerski

One of the UK’s most popular science presenters

British oceanographer, physicist and television presenter. Her many programmes for radio and TV include Radio 4’s Inside Science, Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey, numerous Horizon documentaries, The Sky at Night, and Dara O Briain’s Science Club. She is a Research Fellow at University College London, and holds a PhD in experimental explosives physics. She is the author of Storm In A Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life. She gave the 2020 Royal Institution's annual Christmas lecture on the workings of the world's oceans and how they serve as the heart of our planetary life support system.


Speakers subject to change.