Life can get pretty stressful at times, which is why rest should be such an important part of life. You may be wondering, why rest when there is always so much to get done? Well, there are many benefits and reasons why you should rest.
Oftentimes, our body tells us what we need, but we usually fail to listen. This failure to listen could be for various reasons: because we need to get school or work done, or because we want to push ourselves past our limits, or even because we stay on our phones and computers watching Netflix a little too late. Whatever your reason, it is a good habit to stay mindful and check in with your body to see what it is really telling you and what you need.
Sleep and rest can help us energize our bodies and minds and give us the necessary energy we need. Resting on a daily or weekly basis can prove to have many benefits.
Believe it or not, resting can actually increase your productivity. Productivity is the efficiency of your work or tasks. When you are overtired, this efficiency decreases because you lack the energy to complete the tasks. If you are in a more productive mode, you can get more work done with less amount of time.
Resting can help you channel your inner creativity. When you have not rested, creativity and problem solving do not come easily. On the contrary, resting can help stimulate the creativity you need to solve problems in your daily life and give you a fresh perspective.
Helps with Mental Clarity & Health
When you are lacking sleep, do you ever feel “groggy”? By definition, groggy means “dazed, weak, or unsteady, especially from illness, intoxication, sleep, or a blow.” It is a feeling that makes you want to stay in bed all day. Even when you are awake, you still feel like you are sleeping, which affects your mental clarity. This is your body physically telling you that you need to rest.
Heals Your Immune System
Not getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age can negatively affect your immune system. According to Eric J. Olson, M.D. from the Mayoclinic, …”studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” (Mayoclinic, 2018). Discuss with your doctor to see how much sleep you should be getting per night.
Lowers Your Stress Response
When you lack rest, it can lower your stress response as a result. The cognitive functioning could become impaired. As stated in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35.2 percent of adults in the United States are getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night. According to Medical News Today, stress and rest are closely correlated and “can adversely affect sleep quality and duration, while insufficient sleep can increase stress levels.” This combination of increased stress and lack of rest can lead to long term health issues.
Best Ways to Incorporate Rest in your Routine
Create a nightly routine
Create a nightly routine before bed. Creating a routine will help subconsciously prepare your body for rest.
No screen time 1 hour before bed
Having screen time right before bed can trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime. One hour before bed, turn off your TV/phone/computer and do something that helps you sleep better. For me, reading before bed helps to calm my mind.
Before bed, write three things you were grateful for that happened that exact day. Be specific on what it was.
Do one outdoor activity per day
Being in the sunshine can be one of the best remedies. Try to do one relaxing or fun activity per day. This can be walking, swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, running, skateboarding… etc. One of my favorite ways to be outside is to hike in new places.
Breathe and meditate
Try to take a moment to breathe. When you feel the stress creeping in, take three minutes to breathe it out and slow yourself down.
Take small 5 minute breaks throughout the day
If you find yourself sitting all day or staring at a screen, take 5 minutes throughout the day to rest your eyes or stand and stretch. Be mindful of when your body is wanting a change.
Surround yourself around loved ones
Being around friends or family can oftentimes give us the extra energy and positivity we need to keep going.
I hope this helps you become more well-rounded, rested, and calm. If you want to download the self-care quiz, click here. What is your favorite way to rest?