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The year of Rest and Relaxation

by Britt Blomster 8 days ago in goals · updated 7 days ago

Make 2022 the year that you make yourself a priority.

The year of Rest and Relaxation
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Year after year, we watch the calendar flip to January, and we make resolutions to start a new business or write that book. We vow to quit smoking, cut out sugar, or reach that dream weight, but by February 1st, we usually lose steam in our goals. Why?

If you want this to be the year your resolutions come to fruition or your dreams come true, start taking care of what is most important. You! Make this your year of rest and relaxation. Dust off your old ideas about productivity and stop saying you’ll relax later. Here is how sleep and relaxation will enhance your life.

One of the best ways to elevate yourself is by focusing on your mental health, and sleep plays a crucial role. According to the sleep foundation, stages of sleep help our brain enable learning, memory, and thinking. Each cycle of sleep offers benefits to our brain. In particular, REM sleep takes care of our emotional information processing. If we skip this step, it’s harmful to the brain and our mood and state of emotions. Not getting enough sleep can exacerbate depression or anxiety. If 2022 is the year you want to get on top of your mental health, make sure to add proper sleep to your goals.

For those focusing on physical health this year, sleep needs to be a priority and not an option. If you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to overeat or indulge in unhealthy foods. Those who get a good night’s rest will have more energy to work out and feel less hungry. Sleep-deprivation messes with the brain hormones that control hunger. You can’t make hitting the gym a priority without making hitting the sheets one as well.

Lack of sleep can lead to you getting sick more often as lack of sleep wrecks our immune system. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of the proteins you need to keep your immune system in fighting shape. Those who sleep well fight infections and viruses better than those who toss and turn nightly.

If you are looking to be career-focused this new year, time for rest and relaxation is a must. When sleep is a commitment, you will find higher success because you will have more motivation and energy than your yawning counterparts. You will feel happier and less stressed, which leads to a more positive mindset for work. In the end, you will become more productive due to your mental and physical health being at the optimal level. You will be able to start your day without hitting snooze multiple times and begin earlier, leading to a more prosperous and productive day.

It’s well established that rest is beneficial to us, but most don’t realize that relaxation has its benefits. Some of the benefits include improved digestion, concentration, and reduced fatigue. Relaxing slows your heart rate and lowers blood pressure. You will feel less frustrated or angry if you make unwinding a priority. Stress takes a toll on our body, and by setting aside time to make sure you are decompressing, you are helping yourself become a healthier and better you.

Here are a few tips to help yourself rest and relax better.

Meditation. The power of meditation is nothing to smirk at; its breathing techniques will help you relax and prepare you for a night of rest. Download a meditation app, get comfortable and let yourself get lost in this lovely practice.

Yoga is a beautiful practice that relaxes your entire body. Yoga in the morning is a gentle way to wake up your body so you can start your day in a relaxed state. Bedtime yoga prepares your body for bed and increases your chances of a good night’s sleep.

Journaling has massive benefits. You can use yours to express gratitude or release negative feelings. One of the best sleep tips I’ve gotten is journaling before bed because those thoughts are left in your journal and don’t need to join you in the oasis of your bed. If you feel stressed during the day, pull up the notes app on your phone, you don’t need to be eloquent, release what’s stressing you out, and you will feel much more relaxed. How can you have a good night’s rest when you are worrying?

Technology break. For relaxation, taking a break from your phone and tablet is vital. The blue light interferes with your ability to sleep, and taking a break from your phone could help you get some much-needed relaxation time. The internet is fantastic but feeling tethered to your phone is not. Remember, a form of unwinding is unplugging. For bedtime, it’s recommended you stop using your devices an hour before bed.

My last tip is for rest only. If you’re going to splurge this year, splurge on your bed. Who doesn’t want a mattress they can’t wait to sink into at night? Buy yourself soft bedding in colors that make you feel relaxed. Invest in a good pillow. Some things are worth spending the extra money on, and something that massively benefits your health is always worth the splurge. So instead of buying yet another pair of shoes, why not invest in some comfy pajamas.

If you take the time for rest and relaxation, the benefits will flow to you. The changes in your overall well-being will lead to you feeling smarter and stronger as you crush goals and accomplish resolutions. Here’s to a well-rested and relaxing 2022!

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Britt Blomster

Writer and poet. Dreamer and believer. Empath. Mom of 4. Gamer. Nerd.

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