Rest more, stress less

rest, stress, resilience, reserves, hormones, fatigue, anxiety

Ask any athlete and they’ll tell you the value of rest.

Continual striving and pushing is depleting. This applies to work, exercise, partying, anything at all.

When did you last take a break in your daily life?

I’m talking about proper time to rest.

Rest can seem a little ‘unproductive’ but it’s essential for your well-being.

Making regular time for rest will help you create a strong base on which to build everything else.

Why you need to build reserves

A popular word right now is ‘resilience’. To be resilient, you need to take care of yourself. You can’t ‘hack’ health.

The meaning of resilience implies the need to defend or protect.

I prefer to focus on building reserves instead.

Everybody knows you can be more healthy when you take care of nutrition, hydration, exercise and sleep.

Rest isn’t really on that list. It can feel ‘optional’ or something that you only need to do if you are ill or weak.

The truth is, when you take time for regular rest you are happier and more productive.

The problem with pushing and perfecting

It’s getting harder and harder to say no.

It’s especially hard to say no to things you enjoy, which can include work, as well as play. (Work addiction is definitely a thing.)

Another issue can be the need to refine and polish things to fulfill a need for perfection.

Pushing, and perfecting are positive ways of being that help us make a difference in the world.

When striving becomes a habit we end up in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’. This depletes us over time.

When our body has to use most of its energy for activity, it may not be able to carry out routine maintenance and repair. This can show up in issues with hormonal cycles or immunity.

Further down the track, it could lead to insomnia, anxiety and fatigue.

Stop and listen

One of the best ways to avoid this is to listen to your body. If you are low in energy, you need to replenish yourself.

Ask yourself what you need.

More water? More protein? An early night?

Or does your body simply want you to take a break?

How to take a break

When was the last time you looked out of the window and day-dreamed?

Do you have regular times in your life when you aren’t doing anything in particular?

Have you ever taken time to rest when you are only a little bit tired?

I recently stumbled upon a life-changing book called, ‘How to not always be working’ by Marlee Grace. There is a lovely downloadable work-bookwhich I very much enjoyed completing.

My favourite part of the book was a chapter titled, ‘How to take a break’.
In the workbook, I had to write down what a break looks like for me.

Here’s what I wrote down. (You might like to try this too.)

What a break looks like

A 15 minute break

  • making tea and drinking it
  • a glass of water and a yoga stretch
  • a chat with someone I happen to meet

An hour break

  • walking my dog around the park
  • a yoga class
  • a run
  • knitting and listening to music
  • coffee or lunch with a friend

A whole day

  • a day pottering at home
  • a day trip out somewhere
  • a walk in Epping Forest
  • a day at the allotment

Make time to rest

I know what you’re thinking.

Most of us don’t have the kind of life where we can just drop everything and take a break whenever we feel like it.

I know, I know!

But, try to build it in where you can.

Make a conscious effort to listen to what your body is telling you, instead of overriding it.

I’m a massive believer in ‘putting on your own life jacket first’.

If you take care of yourself, you are happier and have more energy for your work, your life and your relationships.

What does a break look like for you?

If you are finding yourself struggling to keep going, and need some professional help to get back on track, feel free to get in touch.

“I’ve been seeing Tracy on and off for over 5 years. I always leave my appointments (both in person or remotely) feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! She’s helped not just me but my kids as well. I’m always recommending her to friends and family who have been struggling with an ailment that hasn’t been resolved in the general medicinal way. She incorporates not just homeopathy but loads of other holistic ways of living into her life and shares them with others – taking the burden of research off my shoulders.”

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