The Importance of Rest

We forget as a culture how important it is to rest. We’ve moved from not working on the weekends to working more hours than we can count. Rest is not merely taking time for self care, but making intentional time to take a step away from the daily grind and hustle and bustle of daily life. The value of this can be overlooked, but we must not forget how important and essential it is for maintaining our well-being. It helps to rejuvenate our whole self. Our mind, body and soul. While there are many areas we can implement this, the focus on this blog will be on relationships, physical health, daily routines and preventing burnout. 

When it comes to our relationships, giving ourselves rest can help build our relationships. Here’s what I mean by that. When you are stressed and overworking, you have less capacity to regulate your emotions and have a rational mind in times of conflict. When conflict comes up you are less likely to respond in love and kindness and instead respond out of fear and anger. Rest is vital for emotional balance. Being able to reflect and process our thoughts and feelings effectively helps us to be able to connect better with our loved ones. If you find yourself being irritable for no apparent reason, or are unable to manage your emotions, chances are you are feeling overwork and burnt out, leaving no room for rational thinking. Being able to step back and reflect on the situation and the big picture helps us keep things in perspective. When our relationships are strained we feel isolated and lonely, which only makes things worse in other ares of our lives. We were made to be connected and without rest we put a strain on our relationships. 

Physical activity without rest is counter productive. Whether it’s exercising, working, or just moving around throughout the day, without adequate rest, you risk overtraining, which can lead to injuries, decreased performance, and fatigue. When we rest we let our body rejuvenate from the hard work we just exerted. It helps to promote muscle repair and growth, strengthens the immune system, and helps to prevent sickness, fatigue, and burnout. Without adequate rest, your body will begin to tell you you’re working too hard through sickness and injury. If you went to college, do you remember after finals or right before a break you found yourself getting sick even though no one around you was sick? That was your body telling you to take a break. Chronic lack of rest has been linked to a host of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Prioritizing rest is essential for maintaining your long-term health and well-being. 

While thinking about rest regarding physical activity and relationships, creating the habit starts with taking breaks daily. Taking breaks throughout the day helps recharge our mind and bodies, which leads to feeling more focus and promotes more creativity and productivity. Contrary to the belief that constantly working leads to success, it’s actually been shown that rest promotes sustained success as it creates a balance. Rest can give our brains the break they need in order to be more creative and freedom to brainstorm and daydream about goals and aspirations. It also gives your brain more capacity to make decisions and problem solving skills, which are vital to attempting to accomplish any goal. If rest is not a priority in your daily routine, decisions become emotional and not rational leading to decisions that will ultimately hurt you, your work, and your relationships. Having impaired judgment is not what we want for success in working towards any kind of goal. 

Preventing burnout is the ultimate goal of resting. Any kind of exhaustion is an issue, but especially mental exhaustion as that bleeds into every area of our lives. We are constantly being bombarded with information and tasks. Without rest we risk hurting ourselves in the long run through decreased activity, productivity, and isolation. This can look like saying yes to everything, doing every task immediately, always being available. A lot of time we do this out of fear of being rejected, unliked or maybe even fired. What you need to ask yourself is, is this sustainable and is it giving me joy and the energy to continue throughout my day? If the answer is no, then it may be time to rethink how you are spending your time and where rest needs to take place. 

In summary, overworking is unhealthy because it places excessive strain on both your body and mind, leading to physical and mental health problems, strained relationships, and long-term consequences. Prioritizing work-life balance and recognizing the importance of rest and self-care is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. In essence, rest isn't just about being lazy or unproductive; it's a fundamental aspect of leading a healthy and fulfilling life. By incorporating adequate rest into your routine, you'll not only feel better physically and mentally but also perform better in all aspects of your life. As we navigate our busy lives, let’s remember the power of rest and prioritize it alongside our goals and aspirations. By doing so, we can cultivate a life we truly find fulfilling.