Sometimes I take a leisurely stroll down to the lake to watch the boats and ducks, when I want to relax a little.
When your to-do list keeps growing and you’re juggling more responsibility than ever, taking a rest may feel like the last thing you should do. However, pausing to rest and restore when you’re busy is actually the first thing you need to do. Besides, if you want your body to take you all the way to the top, you better treat it with care and compassion.
I’ve always struggled with this concept. I’m a type A by nature and seem to feel useless and antsy when I need to rest. I’ve had insomnia on and off over the course of my life, because of this struggle to let go and be still. I like to be busy for sure, to be productive and use my energy in an effective way. I choose to make my schedule so full that I can barely keep up with it, at times. Even when I know I’m getting mentally, physically or emotionally run-down I’ll sometimes keep pushing ahead, until my body takes me out of the game. I’ll get sick suddenly, and it’ll knock me off my feet, making me incapable of keeping up with my daily tasks. If I don’t listen to my brain, telling me to take it easy for a bit, my body will speak up in a bold way.
I’ve been pretty sick the last few days, and haven’t “accomplished” all that much, in terms of work and writing–and yoga. That’s where my head goes when I’m under the weather, to all that I am not achieving. The truth of the matter is, I need to rest and accept that fact. I’ve enjoyed watching the last season of True Blood and doing some light stretching at home, but that’s been about it. I was going at 100 km/hr and now I need to restore. Can we all not enjoy relaxing a little more, rather than focus on how guilty and lazy we feel? Rest is necessary, and enjoyable if we allow it to be.
Studies show that rest rejuvenates your mind and body, regulates your mood and improves learning and memory. If you don’t get enough R&R you’re more likely to have a weak immune system, as well as mood, memory and stress issues. If you want to keep being the productive person you are, you need to fuel and restore your body properly. So, it’s important to not view rest as something that can only be had when the timing is perfect, or when it’s extremely well-deserved, because it’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and it must be made a priority. Being well-rested gives you more energy to tackle your day, and be the best version of yourself you can be for your friends and loved ones.
Here are some tips for sneaking in some R&R every day:
1) Set a designated chill-out time for yourself each day. If you know the kids are going out for soccer at 3, make that your time to relax and be still. If your schedule is all over the place, make yourself a promise that you’ll take a 30 minute break each day for you.
2) Choose a relaxing spot to park-it when you want to relax. If you know the living room makes you feel calm, head in there when you want to take a few moments for yourself. If you know bubble baths always do the trick for you, draw a nice warm one a few nights a week to restore.
3) Pamper yourself once a month and go to the spa. I’m on a budget, too don’t worry. But if you pool together $40 a month you can get your toes done and feel a little fresher. It’s a light luxury, but it can feel nice if you’re trying to treat yourself to some time off.
Relax & Restore