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THE REST REMEDY BLOG - all things rest, reflection, self care and mindfulness

What is rest ... and why is it so important?

The fast pace of life and the demands of work and family can place rest at the bottom of your priorities (or, if you’re truly honest, it never even enters your mind).

Doing 'restful' things, like lying on the couch, watching tv or scrolling through your social media, doesn’t always feel restful either.

And sleep, the most obvious form of rest, does not always leave you rested.

So what is rest? 

It is the refreshing of your whole self; the state of decreased activity that allows your body and brain to recover and rejuvenate.

Or …

Rest is anything that makes your nervous system feel safe enough for your stress response to switch off, so your mind and body can recover and restore.

Nicola Jane Hobbs

Rest is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body and mind. It allows you to recharge, rejuvenate, and prepare for any challenges that may lie ahead: work, health, family, day to day living, finances … anything that is stressful to you.

Without rest, you can become exhausted and overwhelmed which may lead to health problems, both physical and mental.

Staying busy is easy. But resting can be a challenge.

Regular, intentional rest can:

- improve critical thinking
- decrease blood pressure
- improve mood
- reduce stress and anxiety
- increase empathy and compassion
- improve the ability to dream for the future
- provide space for fresh creativity
- improve problem-solving skills

It can be tempting to push yourself to the limit, get things done and/or push through, but taking the time to rest is crucial for your overall well-being.

When you rest it allows:

- you to take a break from the demands of life;

- your body has a chance to heal;

- your mind can relax and switch off:

- your spirits can lift;

- you become better equipped to handle stress;

- you feel energised.

It's important to remember that rest doesn't have to be a guilty pleasure or a luxury.

When you make time for rest, you do something positive for your health and well-being.

The key to finding what is restful for you is to listen to your body and feel how it responds to certain activities, places and people. As you do this, you may notice that activities you once thought of as restful, or that should be, aren't as restful as you thought. And you might discover that some are more restful than you anticipated. 

Here are some questions to ponder or journal over the coming week:

  1. What do I think of when I hear the term 'rest'?
  2. How is my body and mind feeling today?
  3. When do I feel truly rested?
  4. What is the #1 thing holding me back from resting today? 
  5. What would happen if I stopped and rested?
  6. What would my life be like if I were well-rested?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

As I say at the end of my sessions …

Be gentle with yourself

Until next time

Carolyn x