Restful Body, Restful Mind
Give yourself the gift of kindness in 2022
In a hectic modern world, rest may seem fleeting to most. We are expected to do, do, do with all the increasing demands in our careers, our relationships and even our personal growth. There seems to be an industry for everything nowadays, always pointing towards a problem. What if I were to tell you that there actually is quite a simple solution to our day-to-day problems. That solution, my friend, is rest.
Now to most, this might seem counter-intuitive. “If I rest, I will never complete everything I need to accomplish!”. Though that may seem logical, it is actually the furthest thing from the truth. You see, when we rest, we allow our bodies and minds to integrate the new information coming to us. As I said, we lead very busy lives. Consequently, a lot of new information is constantly flooding through our minds. Whether it comes from the news, our jobs or the constant nagging of the people around us.
When we rest, whether it’s by getting some extra well-needed sleep, meditating or doing anything for yourself to calm your mind, you create space for new ideas to birth. Think about this for a moment, when was the last time you had an idea, you thought, was really good? Was it when you were stressed out thinking about all the ways things could go wrong? Or was it when you were in a relaxed state of mind, free from distractions?
Not only does prioritizing our rest allow us to be in a receptive mode to allow the flow of new ideas, but it also trains our minds and bodies to let us know that it is OK to rest. Inversely, when we are constantly on the go, we are training our bodies to believe that if we are not constantly doing something, we are in danger. We may not understand this on a conscious level, but we are activating the same fight or flight response we would activate in an emergency situation when we are overworking ourselves. This type of response is great when we are in danger, but it is unsustainable for the long run.
In reality, when someone experiences a burn-out, it is not only because of the heavy workload. Although it does not help, we are also wasting a whole lot of energy acting out an emergency response over and over again. This causes major fatigue and you may feel as though your energy is decreasing each and every day. It may also lead to various health problems.
Getting some rest trains our bodies, over time, to not respond to our everyday challenges as though we are living in emergency mode. The more you commit to your rest, the more ideas flow to you. The more ideas flow to you, the more solutions come easy to you. The more solutions come easy to you; the easier life gets.
I understand that it may be really hard to squeeze in some time to rest for some. Especially if you are caught up in the cycle of stress. The good news is, even if you devote only a few minutes each day to your rest, you will feel the cumulative effect over time.
For instance, you may want to start with doing a little something special for yourself each and every day. I believe that you can practice mediation in all kinds of ways. Meditation is simply immersing yourself in an activity that quiets the mind.
A meditative practice may look like setting time aside in your day to drink a cup of tea, undisturbed (No checking your phone! Unless you are reading this article. In that case, carry on ;)). It can look like reading for 15 minutes before bed every night. It can even look like having a journaling practice you go to before bed or first thing in the morning (those are the times our subconscious minds are the most active so this practice is even more impactful during these times).
Whatever practice you decide to take on, this is my promise to you; you WILL see results over time. Whenever you start to do something, you plant a seed. It is from that seed that you sprout the interest of your growth. Once there is an interest, you will want to do something about it. From there, it is your job to commit to tending to your soil. One small action a day creates momentum. In time, this will create a habit. When something becomes a habit, it becomes so much easier to do it day to day. But you must take the first step and keep going along the way.
If you miss a day, don’t get discouraged. Don’t see it as a failure; instead see it as a fork in the road. Keep moving forward despite missing a day or two. Habits take time to form and the more rigid we are with ourselves, the harder it becomes to form a habit.
Practicing kindness to yourself is essential to growth in any aspect of your life. Rest is an act of kindness to yourself. Give yourself the gift of kindness this new year and watch your life change for the better.
Do you know what quote that should be abolished? “Practice makes perfect”. I am not a fan of this quote because it implies something I believe to be unattainable, which is perfection. To me, perfection does not exist. Quite honestly, whether it exists or not does not matter to me. All I know, is that I value my growth a lot more than I value perfection. Wanting things to go perfectly as planned has always led me to not finish what I started. Giving myself room for learning opportunities has been what has kept me going.
As you start your meditation, yoga, journaling or any practice or combination of practices that you choose, the results won’t show up overnight. But it is my guarantee to you, that once you start valuing your rest, you will experience change. The key is to show up for yourself in a small way each and every day.
Rest is a crucial part of any change you want to incorporate into your life. I personally would have never come up with all the information I’ve just shared with you if it wasn’t for my devotion to rest. It made the difference between being able to write in a state of flow versus writing in a state of frustration and angst.
What could rest possibly do for you? What would a few extra minutes a day do for you within a month? What difference could it make in a year?
Hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to give it a heart, share and/or a tip to support my growth as a writer. You can also check out my other articles posted here. Sending you love and light.