What does it mean to Truly rest?
We live in a society that values and rewards the hustle culture. Monday mornings are especially dreary as we go through the pains of hectic schedules, time management, multitasking, and keeping up with the demands of our fast-paced environment. We can’t wait for Friday to come just so we can “rest” and come Saturday, we’re all over the place again, running around the house, doing laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming rugs, getting groceries, and all the other mundane things we didn’t have time to do during the week. Saturday night for me usually ends in two ways: in front of the television, watching guilty pleasure tv shows while sipping hot tea or simply plopping on the bed after a long day of household chores. So, are we really truly resting or are we simply using our weekends as extra days to get caught up with the whirlwind of our lives?
It’s silly how we treat rest like some sort of luxury, as if we can only rest when we’re sleeping more, going on vacation, or indulging in leisure activities. Even then, we always worry about work piling up on our desks, meetings we have to attend when we go back, and tasks we haven’t gotten to do yet. We think, think, think and we never stop to consider that we might be running on fumes- we might be steadily burnt out and we don’t even know it! The simple fact of the matter is, we’re never really resting- not our minds, our emotions, our mental capacity, none of it is really at rest even when we say we’re resting. We always find things to do, tasks to complete, and goals to accomplish. To some extent, we don’t permit ourselves to rest because we fear that when we do, we waste valuable time and we lose control over our lives. We may feel guilty or lazy for taking time off, or we may simply not know how to disconnect from our responsibilities. Hence, we don’t really truly rest.
Myths of Resting: Breaking Down the Misconceptions
Resting is essential for our overall well-being, but there are several myths surrounding it that need to be broken down.
Myth #1: Rest is a sign of weakness
This common misconception has l discouraged a lot of us to simply stop and breathe for a moment. The truth is, rest is a crucial component of self-care and should not be viewed as an indulgence or luxury, but rather as a necessity for our overall health and well-being.
Taking time to rest allows us to recharge our batteries, both physically and emotionally so that we can face life’s challenges with renewed energy and vigor. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced society where productivity is often equated with success, there can be pressure to constantly push ourselves beyond our limits. However, neglecting rest leads to burnout and other negative consequences such as decreased immune function, increased stress levels, and lower overall quality of life.
It’s important to recognize that taking breaks isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s what enables us to excel in the long run and only when we prioritize rest do we truly have the ability to thrive in all aspects of our life.
Myth #2: Rest is a waste of time
Many people believe that if they’re not constantly working and staying busy, they’re not being productive or achieving enough. This mindset can lead to burnout, stress, and overall exhaustion. We become too hard on ourselves and deprive ourselves of a well-deserved break. In reality, rest is essential for our bodies and minds to recharge and repair themselves. By taking breaks from work or other responsibilities, we give ourselves the opportunity to relax and reflect on what truly matters in life.
However, it’s important to note that simply sleeping more or lounging around all day isn’t necessarily true rest either! True rejuvenation comes from engaging in activities that nourish our souls- whether that’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies we enjoy, meditating and practicing mindfulness techniques, or just taking a quiet walk in nature. When we prioritize these types of activities alongside our daily work routines, we’ll find ourselves feeling more motivated, energized, and fulfilled than ever before. In some aspects, resting properly may be one of the most productive things we can do!
Myth # 3: Rest is a passive activity
Many people view rest as simply doing nothing, taking a break from work or responsibilities, and letting time pass by aimlessly. True rest can actually be an active process that requires conscious effort and intentionality. Restful activities such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature require our full attention and presence. In fact, research suggests that engaging in mindful activities like these have numerous physical and mental health benefits. Furthermore, participating in hobbies or creative pursuits can also provide an opportunity to recharge and replenish our energy reserves.
Real rest isn’t simply the absence of activity but rather intentionally engaging in activities that nourish our mind, body, and spirit. By recognizing this myth, we may become better equipped to prioritize self-care practices into our daily lives which will ultimately yield greater overall well-being.
Myth #4: Rest is only necessary for those who are physically or mentally exhausted
Rest is crucial for every individual, regardless of age, gender, profession or lifestyle. It allows us to recover our energy and focus on what really matters. When we neglect rest, we become vulnerable to stress-related diseases and burnout. Even when we feel like we’re okay, our bodies and minds run on limited capacity; sooner or later, burnout will be inevitable so we must always consider resting to improve our mental health and enhance our productivity.
From Physical to Spiritual: Exploring the Different Forms of Rest
In our modern society, physical rest has become synonymous with sleep or leisure activities. However, resting goes beyond these superficial forms of relaxation and incorporates the need for spiritual repose. Spiritual rest involves connecting with our inner selves and finding peace within. It allows us to gain newfound perspectives on life by detaching from daily stresses and focusing on what truly matters. By practicing mindfulness or meditation techniques, we can achieve a state of spiritual rest which helps us relieve anxiety and boost positive emotions such as gratitude, empathy, and joyfulness. This gently opens up creative pursuits while improving relationships with people around us.
True rejuvenation happens when we balance both forms of rest- physical as well as spiritual- in our lives. Nurturing these two areas not only improves our overall health but also strengthens our emotional quotient in dealing with challenges that come our way unexpectedly.
Finding Balance: The Role of Rest in a Busy Life
It’s easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of work and productivity. We often forget that taking time to rest is equally important for our happiness. As much as we love laying around and scrolling through social media on our free time, true rest requires intentional self-care practices that allow us to disconnect from the busyness of life and recharge our energy. Rest can take on many forms depending on our personalities and lifestyles. For some people, it may be practicing mindfulness meditation, going for a walk at the park, or reading a book with a cup of tea. Others may prefer more active forms of rest such as yoga or spending time with loved ones. The key is finding what works for us and making it a priority in our schedules.
Incorporating regular periods of rest into our busy life can have profound benefits on our well-being. By prioritizing relaxation and rejuvenation, we become more productive when we return to work because we are better able to focus on what truly matters rather than getting caught up in unnecessary distractions.
The Lost Art of Rest
Rest is the elusive state of being that we all long for but can never seem to achieve. When life throws curveballs left and right, finding time to truly rest can feel like an impossible feat, but learning the art of rest is never too complicated. For an hour or even minutes, if we disconnect from technology, take a walk outside, do something we love for a moment, or make ourselves a cup of tea and just sip it in peace, we are letting our mind, body, and spirits take a break. We are permitting ourselves to pause, slow down, and take a breather before resuming again. Life goes on and so should we, but resting and unwinding is a huge part of why we can always go on and show up for others and for ourselves and it should never be exchanged for anything in the world.
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I write because this world is too complex and challenging to be experienced in one lifetime. We all wish for healing from unspoken wounds, pains, and scars, a reprieve from unrelenting storms, and peace and calm after everything we’ve been through. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, but I hope my words can bring you comfort when you need it most. If there’s something I know, it’s that everything will be okay again- we will be okay.