Ahhh, the ever elusive "rest". What is this rest and where is it found? Can anyone have some or is it reserved for the uber rich who have all the time in the world? Rest, it's such a funny word, so hard to come by and so, so, so important to include in your life.
Now there's a difference between rest and laziness. A lazy individual procrastinates and avoids in favor of doing things that don't require much thought or action. Having lazy days once in awhile, however, does not classify you as a lazy individual.
I like to consider a lazy day, a day of rest if you will, to be a lot like hitting the reset button on your mind and body. A break from the never-ending work, home and family business that takes over each day. It's highly beneficial to get plenty of rest. And I don't just mean sleep! (I mean, sure, that's super important too. But here me out, mmkay?)
The Benefits of Rest:
We all know that when we sleep, our bodies heal. But did you know that resting, without sleeping, also acts as a way to heal the mind! (source) Stresses from each day, even the good days, cause our brains to break down. We think we can easily fix this with a good nights sleep but that doesn't always work. Hence the proverbial "waking on the wrong side of the bed". If we are sleeping but not resting, we are not fully recharging and healing.
Resting (again, but not sleeping) also allows us to center our focus - just for a little while - on something other than the things that cause us stress or tension. Distractions can sometimes be considered a good thing if it leaves you feeling recharged and ready to tackly anything that comes your way. The trick is to find a balance.
Create A "Rest Stop" for Yourself
It's sort of an open secret that I suffer from OCD, Seasonal Affect (winter) and Anxiety. I'm also not a doctor so I tend to rely a lot on "what worked for me". Over the years of being a "do it all, working mom" I found that I was breaking down and having panic attacks left and right. On top of that, my body was deteriorating from lack of, well, everything. I prioritized everything and everyone but myself. This is how my scheduled "rest stops" came to exist.
It's simple really. I keep a list of the ultimate relaxation (for me) in my planner. Things that help me find my zen and allow me to feel refreshed and way less anxious. It could be things like coloring in one of my "adult coloring books", reading a "fun" book (not business related, just something I like), playing mindless apps on my Kindle for an hour or even painting my nails.
A lot of people suggest things like yoga and meditation - and I do these things too - but I've found that adding pleasure to my rest stop is what actually works. Why? Because yoga relaxes me and clears my mind and meditation keeps me focused. Neither of them leave me with a sense of "fun". Having fun is quite possibly one of the absolute easiest ways to give your mind a rest.
Schedule Your Time Now So It Doesn't Overwhelm You Later
Yes, really. I know from patterns and habits that my mood will shift and the spaz attack will hit sometime on Wednesday night as I look at my to do list and see all I've accomplished. Although that list may make me feel proud, what I'm really seeing in my mind is the list of things I have yet to accomplish. This is when I know my brain really needs a reset and to get some rest. So typically I schedule part of Thursday morning to take some major time out. Unless I have appointments, I take from 8 am to 10 am and just do me. From Garfield Defense on the Kindle to soaking in a hot bath (or even both), I do absolutely nothing that requires much thinking.
Scheduling my rest stops does two things:
- I don't have to worry about overwhelm because I can schedule the rest of my week around it.
- It gives me something to look forward to when I start to feel overwhelmed (despite my pre-planning)
Rest is important and I fully endorse taking some time to procrastinate, be lazy and binge watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (again for some of us...). Eat something that's terrible for you without worry, use too many bubbles in your bath and don't bother to let the dog out. It's ok. You're a tough #GirlBoss after all, and you're worth it!
Until next time,
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