Because when you stop and take a look around, life is pretty amazing!
5 Reasons to Rest
Meet my cat Max. Cats know all about rest, don't they? We live in a world where we’re expected to exist in a constant state of ‘doing’. In everything we do, we want to be quicker, more efficient and more productive.
To accomplish more each day, we rush from one thing to the next, multi-tasking as we go. Being busy is something to aspire to and doing nothing is considered indulgent.
Despite society’s expectations, living like this is unsustainable. When you’re constantly on the go and repeatedly failing to rest, you’re mentally and physically exhausting yourself.
‘Our society puts too much emphasis on constant ‘doing’, without recognising that in the recharging space you can come back to work, duties and relationships in a more productive, enhanced way. Whether you are a mom, a college kid or trying to make your way in the corporate, art, (fill in the blank) world, you may come to a time when you just push and push and push and then leave yourself stressed out and incapable of being the best you can be.’ – Kimberly Snyder, Nutritionist
Sleep and rest are essential building blocks of the mind and body. Better still, when you stop rushing and slow down, you enjoy life more.
Why Our Bodies and Minds Need Rest
- Rest in the form of sleep is absolutely vital for our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep deprivation impacts our metabolism, immune function and cardiovascular health, not to mention our ability to concentrate, learn and retain information.
- Rushing from one task to the next without pausing to rest doesn’t help us do our best work. In fact, it causes us to overlook important details. When we stop rushing and slow down, we make fewer mistakes because we’re more focused.
- Rest and relaxation make us more creative. Scientists studying brain scans recently discovered that moments of creativity take place when the mind is at rest rather than working on something.
- When we rush through things and cram too much into our daily lives, we are essentially using stress to motivate our minds and bodies to be faster. Stress wreaks hormonal havoc in our bodies, causing cortisol and adrenaline to pump through our blood. These chemicals impact how we feel emotionally, mentally and physically. Usually, once a stressful situation has passed, these effects will fade. If you're constantly stressed, your body remains in a state of high alert and you may develop other stress-related symptoms.
- You’re at risk of burning out if you fail to rest. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
If You Do One Thing This Week…
Take a leaf out of Max's book and make time to rest (OK maybe not for as long as he does.....) but regular rest is crucial to good mental and physical health. Block out time to rest. Add it to your to-do list like it’s an urgent task. Plan what you’ll do with your downtime in advance and notice how you feel afterwards. Does slowing down make you more productive?
- Why Lack of Sleep is Bad for Your Health
- The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week
- Redefining Rest – Slowing Down to Speed Up!
- How to Manage Stress
- Working Hard and Resting Hard
- How to Recognise and Recover from Burnout and Depression
- How to Lean In Without Burning Out
Until next time