Updated: Nov 10, 2022
We can all agree that we need more rest. So here are 5 ideas to inspire you to take some time off and make self-care a priority.
The "hustle culture" is deeply ingrained in our society, so much so, that when we take a day off sick or go away on holidays there's often a sense of guilt - Did we do enough to be taking days off? Should we be doing more? What will people think?
Not to mention social media and our always-on mobile devices making it even more difficult for us to unplug, press pause, and *really* rest.
But appropriate rest is not a "nice to have", it's fundamental to our functioning as human beings.
So in this blog post, we explore just how important rest is and share 5 ideas to help you find respite in today's busy and noisy society.
Why is resting so important?
Rest is important because it helps our body and mind heal and restore. This is easy and intuitive to understand: when we feel tired we find it harder to concentrate, we're less functional and our performance is affected.
Moreover, people who take time to rest are more productive, more creative, experience less stress and are overall healthier.
An idle brain is a more innovative, creative, and problem-solving brain
When we're at rest, meaning we're not directly focused and engaged on a particular external task, our brain continues working in the background, processing and looking for new information, establishing connections, and coming up with new ideas. This is why we often recommend "sleeping on it" when we need to make big decisions.
Rest activates our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS)
The PSNS is a network of nerves that serves as the brakes of the human body - deescalating the stress response and putting our bodies back to normal, decreasing our heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and slowing down our breath and our mind.
Rest promotes REM sleep
REM sleep is one of the 5 stages of sleep. During REM, our brain activity picks up and it's usually during this phase that we dream. This is important because REM sleep is the restorative part of our sleep cycle. If we get appropriate REM sleep levels every night, we'll wake up feeling more refreshed, alert and lively, contributing to enhanced productivity and decision-making.
So rest is not laziness, or not wanting to do anything. Rest is the key to a happier and healthier life.
Now that we've hopefully inspired and convinced you to make rest and self-care a priority, here are a few ideas for you to do just that:
5 things you can do unplug and press pause on your hectic life
1) Spend time alone not doing anything
This is one of the best ways to reset your brain and nervous system. Sitting or laying down, notice your body. Spending 5 minutes doing this should be enough to give your mind a well-deserved break.
2) Listen to a guided relaxation
In our yoga classes, we always save some time for Yoganidrā. Yoganidrā (or Yoga Nidra) is known as the Yoga of Sleep and consists of guided relaxation techniques for the body, the emotions, and the mind.
These are powerful practices proven to promote restful sleep, relieve pain and reduce stress, due to the "feel-good" hormones Yoganidrā releases, including endorphins and serotonin.
So if you ever need a quick fix to deeply restore and recharge your mind and nervous system, tuning into a guided relaxation is probably your best option.
We offer a free 10-minute guided relaxation on this website, which you can access here.
3) Go for a walk
Going outside for some fresh air is an effective way to get you out of your head and invite some calm and peace of mind. As you walk, notice your surroundings and be present. Ideally, turn off your phone or leave it at home.
4) Set up a wind-down routine at night
A solid winding-down routine before going to bed will help you have a more restful sleep. It can include things like spending time away from screens, taking a bath, and switching the "not disturb" mode on your smartphone at least 30-minutes before your bedtime.
It can also include the practice of meditation, reading a good book, or joining a restorative yoga class in the evening.
As you go about establishing this routine, experiment and test several activities and timings to see what works best for you.
Here at Yogaful Studio, we understand that life often gets in the way of your yoga practice, so we want to make sure authentic yoga is available to you in a way that is both accessible and flexible.
This is why we offer all our classes online and our membership includes access to an on-demand library with full 1hr yoga sessions, gentle morning practices, and guided meditations and relaxations.
You can give us a try for 7-days FREE here
5) Join a weekend yoga retreat
All the ideas shared until now, are things you can do when you take a short break. But often the problem is not being able to rest, is finding time for it.
To this, I say that if you're not able to find rest naturally as part of your day, you need to make time for it.
I'm fully aware that this is easier said than done, but if you approach a deadline at work as a non-negotiable, you should consider applying the same mindset to rest and self-care. It takes practice but it's incredibly rewarding!
Also, remember that rest doesn't have to be an expensive week away in the Maldives. It can be one weekend that is dedicated solely to you. For example, our upcoming weekend-long yoga retreat to charge your batteries, turn your attention inwards and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (#sorrynotsorry for the shameless plug).
Our ANEW retreat was specifically created for you that is running on autopilot and have been struggling to find time to rest and reset.
It includes 2 nights' accommodation, meals, and all the yoga practices to ensure these three things:
You leave with a clear mind, motivated and inspired
You feel energised, refreshed, and ready to make the most of this new year
You deepen your connection and alignment with your real self - balanced, happy, and healthy
So if you feel called and would like to know more about the retreat, click the link below ☺️
If you're still reading this far, thank you, I appreciate you ✨
I hope this blog gives you the arguments you need to introduce boundaries that protect the time you need to rest, as well as some ideas to inspire you to invest a little bit more in yourself and your well-being.
About the author
Hi! I'm Cat, the founder of Yogaful Studio. My mission is to elevate your body and mind so you can live a better life - with less stress, more purpose, joy, and love. So if you have a demanding job and a hectic life running miles an hour, this is the place for your to find rest, balance, and peace.
Join me on the mat online every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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