Writing from experience, I am convinced that not enough of us acknowledge that sometimes rest is best. Having put myself through college, worked several different jobs, and participated in countless activities or commitments since my brain injury, I have known what it is to strive….to give 150-200% and push every physical, emotional, and psychological boundary to accomplish a certain task or just to make it through the day.
Yes, sometimes we just need a swift kick in the butt or a gentle nudge to get us motivated, to take that first step, or to keep us going in the right direction. But sometimes “rest is best”. And to each of us that balance will look different. Only you will know when you’ve pushed yourself – or been pushed – too far.
Even the rest itself will look different for each individual. For one person it might mean at least one nap per day – maybe more. To the next person, however, rest might mean simply existing in the quiet but actively engaging the mind by reading a book or writing in a journal. Or it might change from day to day! It might even mean removing one activity or another from ones’ life for a brief period of time – a hiatus from the gym, from participating in a club, or from some other routine in life – or possibly removing it altogether.
Whatever “rest” looks like for you, know that no matter what anyone else tells you – only you know your own body – and IT is the gauge to know what to do for rest and for how long. Don’t let anyone bully you into thinking otherwise (Obligation is a silent killer.) Think of “the body” as referring to both the physical entity and your mind. Either way, I’m here to tell you that “it’s okay to rest!”
This might be difficult for some to wrap your heads around. Our society is so goal-oriented and action-driven. Rarely do we consider the “refueling” stage of the process as significant or valuable. Today’s blog is a reminder…whether or not you have a “challenge” of some kind, your body and mind NEED renewal. So allow for that. Honour your body and learn to give it what it’s asking for.
And this applies to other areas as well. Learn to distinguish hunger from thirst, whether your muscles need movement and stretching or passive rest and relaxation, or even the difference between positive and negative energy to affect your mood and mindset. Use journaling as a way to observe and document to assist your awareness. Spend some time every day in reflection. These tools of increasing awareness will be your best bet to combat stress and to equip you for more focussed, effective activity in life.
So I guess the admonishment is twofold. Learn to know what your body needs and don’t be ashamed to honour that. Sometimes rest is best.
…this is my life…