With our lives being as busy as they are - long to-do lists, overflowing in boxes/baskets, and never-ending repetitive tasks - how many of us feel comfortable taking time to rest?
Personally this is a huge struggle for me. As I always feel I have courses to update, classes to plan, a business to market, and articles to write, I usually debate with myself on whether I can afford to take a nap, or simply sit and just enjoy a cup of tea. My habit is to force myself to keep going despite being fatigued in mind and body.
Years of perpetuating this habit has revealed its futility:
What is Rest?
True rest and relaxation means completely being at ease without planning or striving, feeling pressure, or worrying about what needs to be done. Resting or simply doing nothing heals our overall being.
For those whose racing mind won’t let you put up your feet when your inbox is full, Psychologist Rick Hanson urges reflecting on your beliefs or fears about resting. Some common mental and emotional obstacles to rest are:
To undermine the mindset that associates rest with failing, ask yourself: What am I afraid of? Whose approval am I seeking? Does being busy make me feel useful? Does a busy routine really keep me on top? Am I really useless when I take time off?
The benefits of relaxing or napping I can speak of personally. I’ve noticed after a nap, I wake up refreshed with a clear mind, energized, optimistic, and confident that I can cope with my work load, and be ready to face whatever comes my way.
Ways to Rest:
Try resting at least 5 minutes every day. But if you don't do so, be gentle with yourself as the simplest way to unwind is to practice self-compassion. When our minds are peaceful we feel rested.
May your rest heal your mind, emotions, and body.