“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest” – Ashleigh Brilliant
Rest…such a simple word that reaps great results! As children, I think we all can remember being given unsolicited naps, strict bedtimes or maybe being told by the doctor to rest whenever we weren’t well. I can remember how unwanted rest seemed like torture or even seemed so unfair. I think part of my reluctance was due to my lack of understanding what rest was and its true nature until I grew a little older. Here’s a funny story, a long time ago, when I was 8 years old and my sister was 9, we both got sick. Since my mom was a great mom, she acted right away with some cold medicine. One morning, she decided to give us some before heading off to school—-Big mistake! Turns out, she accidentally gave us a nighttime formula that made us sleepy all day! It was awful, I could barely keep my eyes open to pay attention (even for the fun stuff) and I heard my older sister was pretty crabby that day. The way I felt, rest was a slice of heaven and you couldn’t pay me to skip a nap!!!
Did You Know…
- Rest helps you sleep: adequate sleep allows the mind to repair itself and develop new connections (useful when learning new skills, adaptations)
- Rest lowers stress: decreases abnormal levels of cortisol (stress hormone): This will allow alertness, productivity and general health to be maintained
- Rest gives us more energy throughout the day: adequate rest helps you avoid energy slumps during the day
- Rest boosts brain function: allows for better concentration and focus
[Source “Six Benefits to Rest”]
Do you know what happens to overgrazed soil?! It begins lose its usefulness and die. It’s the same way with our bodies. WE NEED REST!!! If we don’t get proper rest, our bodies will begin to lack and where there is lack, a decline in our health is not too far behind. With rest, we’re allowing our bodies to get in alignment to the way it should naturally function. We grow better, we think better, we live better! When we constantly give ourselves away to the demands of our lives, we must have a system of regaining what we exhaust back. Just like it doesn’t make sense to attempt to drive a car on empty, it also isn’t wise to exhaust all of our energy and become useless to ourselves and those around us. We were never created to live in such an abusive manner. In order to keep ourselves at our best and going strong, we must get proper rest.
Living in the kind of society we live in, it’s easy to get sucked in to the vortex of being constantly busy with work and other obligations that has our time on lock down. Although this behavior has become normal, it’s not right or healthy. As a young adult, I remember finding myself adapting to the “anti-rest” mindset because I thought, the more I work, the more I can get accomplished. Since I didn’t understand the importance of rest, I’d continue to multitask many things without it. Little did I know that I was only able to give partial effort and was sending myself on a downward slope of falling apart. Through trial and error and some wisdom graciously given to me, I learned that rest isn’t such a negative thing at all—In fact, it’s well needed on a regular basis! I had to stop foolishly exhausting myself and learn how to set realistic boundaries to lock regular rest in my schedule so I could excel and stay on track.
Rest is not a dirty word! We shouldn’t run from it or wait for dire circumstances to come before we utilize it. It’s wise for us to embrace its power to enhance and extend the only lives we have. We all have many obligations to juggle in our lives but we can’t be physically bankrupt and expect stellar results no more than we can expect eroded soil to yield bountiful produce. We need a lifestyle of balance and a life of balance requires making time to refresh, renew and restore ourselves. So don’t hesitate to ink in some “r & r”; trust me, you will thank yourself for it later!