Our society is essentially driven by doing and achieving. While getting things done is obviously important, many people feel guilty if they take time out for themselves and rest is considered indulgent or perhaps even impossible. If you are a parent you will undoubtedly have very little time to rest and commitments such as work or study are also non-negotiable.
Yet taking the time to slow down and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit is a vital part of life. When you take the time to sit and rest even for a few minutes a day, you allow your body’s cells to recharge. Here are our tips to help you slow down and shift yourself into rest and digest mode.
Reasons for rushing always seem valid at the time. But rushing means you often miss out on spontaneous conversations, memory-making and funny fleeting moments.
See if you can notice when you’re rushing and try to slow down. Be aware of the stressful feeling of being in a hurry and the burden of trying to get past whatever it is you’re doing at that moment. Recognise the behaviour, notice the unpleasantness and feel the change of focus when you move down a gear.
STOP ‘PUSHING THROUGH’
When you feel overwhelmed you are inevitably less compassionate and kind to yourself. When you remove the desire to ‘push through’ and acknowledge the need to rest, you start to make more healthy decisions for yourself. All of a sudden the world seems a much happier place to be. You’d be amazed how many people ‘push’, ‘shove’ and ‘strive’ through life only to remain in a constant state of misery. The notion of ‘pushing through’ implies an aggressive approach towards yourself and towards life. In the words of BKS Iyengar, “love begets courage, moderation creates abundance and humility generates power.”
CATCH UP ON SLEEP
Making time for sleep can recharge your whole self and impact your overall health. When did you last have an early night? Lots of late nights and early starts can lead to adrenal exhaustion and overall hormonal imbalance. This brings symptoms such as depression, weight-gain, estrogen dominance and chronic fatigue. This is because the mind and body are intrinsically connected.
Feeling ‘burnt out’ mentally and physically is often caused by a lack of rest, and more specifically sleep. You might wake up early and decide you may as well get up and start your chores for the day. This can be beneficial if you go to bed early or allow yourself rest later on in the day. But when you can, allow yourself to snooze a little longer and you might be surprised how much better you feel. Better yet, give yourself an early night, run yourself a bath, grab a book and really allow yourself to rest before you even get into bed. You might like to schedule your Sunday nights to this restful routine so you can return to each new week feeling rejuvenated and recharged.
FIND YOUR AUTHENTIC PACE
So often we’re influenced by other people and the stressed energy they carry, but it’s up to you to find your own healthy balance of work, play, rest and sleep. So focus on yourself and your needs rather than what others are doing. It’s so easy to get drawn into someone else’s pace especially when you’re doing the same activity (such as eating, walking or driving). Be conscious of keeping your own pace instead of unconsciously moving as fast as people around you. By slowing down to your own authentic pace you will significantly lower your stress levels.
Take the time to rest and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit, and give yourself space to create a life that is truly meaningful!