When you think of the word “rest,” what comes to mind?
In the dictionary, “rest” can be defined as:
- Freedom from activity or labor
- Peace of mind or spirit
- Something used for support
For many of us, that first point is what we usually strive for. That’s the vacation we are looking forward to after working 50 weeks out of the year. It’s the weekend getaway you’ve been stashing money away for over the last several months. Often, rest feels out of reach or impossible with our busy lives and schedule. Scheduling a rest period is something that can feel like “just another thing on the to-do list” which isn’t a restful experience at all! What is the alternative in our bodies if we don’t get that rest? We burn out, our performance lowers, and everything we are striving to do to stay busy…craters.
Think about the times you have in your day when activity lowers, even just a little bit. This could be in the car driving, going to bed at night, taking a shower, or anything. How often do we rush through these things to check them off our list?
Here’s the alternative approach: if we slow down and be mindful about what we’re doing and where our mind is, we can experience a higher quality “rest” when doing these activities we are doing anyway. Hear that again. We are not talking about ADDING anything to your schedule, just maximizing things you are ALREADY doing.
Take a moment to breathe before you take a shower and work on being present throughout it. Don’t focus on wracking your mind going through the grocery list or thinking about what chores are left to do. Put on some of your favorite music in the car that helps you feel most like “you” and re-energizes you by giving your brain a break from other tasks. When you are going to bed, purposefully work on slowing your thought process down and reminding yourself that tomorrow’s problems can be solved then. Tomorrow’s problems will not be solved by you at the moment when you are getting ready for sleep. Let tomorrow handle tomorrow, so you can let yourself at this moment, get the rest that YOU deserve.
Are you finding it difficult to rest your body or carve out time for self-care in this busy world? If you need support, feel free to reach out to our team of counselors to schedule an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org!