We live in a busy society. Societal pressures include pressure to perform and to present all of the time. Oftentimes rest is wrongfully equated to laziness, resulting in rest feeling like something that has to be followed by hard, or even exhausting work. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to actively rest. Because our society has a go, go, go mentality, rest can sometimes lead to uncomfortable feelings of panic, guilt or shame. This is a sure sign that you are overdue for rest.
Active rest ceases work and worry. Rest is the act of being instead of doing. Just because you are still does not mean your mind is actually at rest. Ruminating over life’s events is not restful. Stillness of mind and body are requirements for rest. Here's why reconsidering rest is invaluable.
Benefits of Rest
Rest is vital for innovation, productivity, and thinking more clearly. When you intentionally rest it becomes a part of your routine. Routines can at first seem like the antithesis of rest, but having a morning or evening routine can bolster creativity and bring ease to your most challenging projects. In the morning, after a good night’s sleep, your mind is fresh and rest precedes a productive early morning routine, as well as enhanced creativity.
In addition to a morning routine, if you are exerting significant brain power in creative work, or projects, an afternoon nap can help you to recharge your batteries. A short nap increases alertness and decreases fatigue. A 20 minute nap will help with concentration and restore depleted energy, and is a great replacement for caffeine.
It is also important to know when to stop.. When you are overworked you may start to feel disengaged, burnt out and you may start to perform poorly; you can also say goodbye to creativity and innovation. There is no need to work yourself to exhaustion, stop while you still have some energy, it will help you show up ready for challenges when it is time to return to your work. When you let your brain rest before you are completely exhausted, your subconscious starts to solve the problem at hand as you rest. Leaving a task undone is like leaving the last sentence unwritten giving your mind a healthy nudge to create, solve, and innovate. Giving your mind and body time to rest and recover also supports you in reaching your goals.
Seemingly it goes without saying, sleep is the ultimate way to rest but sleeping is not always high on the priority list. Giving yourself thirty minutes before bed to be screen free might seem like a challenge, but avoiding screens 30 minutes before bed will help you to wind down, supporting a better night’s rest.
When it is time for bed think, “cool, quiet, and completely dark,” these are the perfect conditions for a good night’s sleep. Properly setting up your sleep environment supports a good night’s rest. A diffuser can also be a great addition to your space.
Rest has the power to inspire creativity and have you showing up more like yourself to events, projects, and obligations. Remind yourself that you deserve rest before you are completely exhausted, consider your self-care routines sacred, and watch your productivity, creativity and innovation overflow.