“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol” -Brene Brown
Here I am with the blog post for April. I didn't get around to posting another blog during last month which was more of an announcement about me only posting a blog once per month moving forward. Just in case I didn't mention the main reason for that, it is because I need to practice more of what I preach - Make Yourself Your Priority. One of the ways I'm doing that is making time for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. With that said, let's talk about rest.
Our bodies are designed to rest. There is a natural rhythm of waking and sleeping that triggers our bodies into resting and rejuvenating. Most people don’t deny themselves time to sleep, but many aren’t getting enough sleep or proper sleep for that matter.
Being physically tired is a definite sign that we need to rest, but there are many ways that we can become tired. While sleep is a common form of rest, there are also different sorts of rest that help restore energy. The problem is, we live in a culture that doesn’t make rest a priority. Many people are so tired, that they can't function at their best, but they don’t believe there is anything they can do about it.
These days people are expected to work like they don’t have families and spend time with their family like they don’t have to work. It’s pretty much impossible to be all things to all people and not become utterly exhausted - but we try anyway.
Here are some facts: #1- If you don’t stand up for your right to rest, no one will. #2 - Making rest a priority in a busy world must start with you; and fact #3 - Those around you must learn to accept and accommodate your healthy boundaries.
Rest Can Feel Like an Indulgence
Since we live in a world that glorifies being busy, it’s hard to imagine resting as being responsible. Taking time off, doing nothing in particular, having no plans, or intentionally making plans to unplug and refresh seems indulgent. That’s a sad commentary on our culture. Recovering from exhaustion or preventing it altogether is nothing to feel guilty about!
Yet we do feel guilty. I recently revealed to one of my best friends that I would no longer be working 10-12 hour days and would begin working only 5-10 hours per week. My friend is a busy mother, psychologist, life coach, professor, and wife, so I felt not only guilty, but ridiculous for having the audacity to state such a thing, let alone do it. However, I am also a busy mother, psychologist, life coach, et cetera, et cetera. I know that I alone am responsible for my health, and resting is necessary to facilitate good health and a happy life, which makes it a priority.
Making rest a priority in a world that diminishes its benefits can feel like going against the grain. You’ve got to stand up for yourself and your family and integrate rest into your routine despite the normalcy to be busy. Setting boundaries and limits can help. Learning to incorporate rest into your routine will help keep your mind, body, and spirit from becoming weary. Encouraging others to rest and restore - as well as prevent exhaustion - will help ensure they are functioning at their best, too.
Failure to rest can lead to illness, injury, or worse - none of which improves quality of life. Make rest a part of your routine regardless of how it’s perceived so you can be sure to have the stamina, enthusiasm, and brainpower to live your best life.
Be audacious and make the time to rest!