In today’s society, we’ve adapted the mind-set that we need to do more to feel better about ourselves. We’re constantly in “go” mode, running from one thing to the next & not setting aside enough time for rest. Even when we get home after a long day to unwind, our brains are in “go” mode due to the extra time spent scrolling through Instagram or refreshing our email.
When we think of taking a “rest day,” we often assume it’s just about not exercising. However, a rest day is really about recharging both the body & the mind. Sometimes, cancelling a workout class isn’t enough to make us feel better; we might still wake up the next day feeling sluggish & tired, which makes it that much more important to look at the bigger picture.
What do you do to rest & recharge? Do you sleep in, meet a friend for coffee, take a bath, or turn off notifications? You might even opt to stay in your pajamas & not get off the couch! What’s restful for one person might not be for another. It’s all about listening to your body & doing what’s right for you as a bio-individual.
Even if you’re the type to say there are never enough hours in the day, you still need to find ways to prioritize rest.
Here are a few reasons why rest is so important.
Burnout is a real thing that doesn’t only apply to people who exercise regularly. It can also affect those who are constantly moving, stressed out, sleep deprived, or refuelling with caffeine. At some point, your body may suffer or experience an injury due to lack of rest. However, your body will likely signal when it’s hit a wall, with clues like increased heart rate, dehydration, weakened immune system, & feelings of depression. It’s so important to take care of your body so it has time to recover & repair. If you have a hard time sitting still, taking a walk in nature might enhance your mood while making you feel calmer.
You might feel like your body needs more rest because you can feel when your muscles are sore or stiff, but it’s just as important for your mind to rest from active brain time! After all, your mind is working all day – while you’re exercising, problem solving & remembering things. Plus, your brain controls your body, so prioritizing rest for both is essential to feeling your best. When your brain is in overdrive, you might experience forgetfulness, confusion & irrational or even aggressive emotions. Remember, it’s hard to think straight when your brain is exhausted! Activities that help you relax, like deep breathing, meditation & yoga are great, but don’t forget to power down your devices, too!
Need help making it a routine? Here are some tips.
Choose a Day
For most, Saturdays & Sundays are the easiest days to schedule as rest days. However, just because you’re not at work for eight hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the rest your body & mind need. While it’s great to schedule an activity with friends or loved ones, constantly making plans or running errands might be adding more stress & fatigue to your life. Tell yourself ahead of time that either Saturday or Sunday (or both!) is for you & you only.
Simply marking a day on the calendar or scheduling a rest day doesn’t mean you’re good to go. How many times have you taken a day’s leave & still go-go-go? To ensure rest really happens, write down a few things you will & won’t do. Maybe you know you’ll go for a walk in the morning & won’t check or answer work emails.
What does rest mean to you? How many rest days do you currently take each week? Share in the comments below!