[REST IS HEALTHY] -- 4 min read
Welcome to the “From the Fight” blog. The past few weeks we have been talking about what it means to be “healthy” holistically in society. Today we will be discussing rest and why it is healthy.
It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of society today. We are overwhelmed, overstressed, and overworked. We work for the weekend and when the weekend comes, we fill it with errands and things we didn’t get done during the week. The word rest isn’t really in our vocabulary and if it is, rest consists of watching Netflix. I am so guilty of this. My “rest” often comes in the form of watching a couple episodes (sometimes more than a couple episodes) of my favorite show. While this is nice, I often don’t feel refreshed or even relaxed when I am watching the shows because I am too stressed about what I should be doing instead. Maybe you are someone that can feel refreshed and relaxed by watching TV, but I think a lot more people than we realize are not feeling that. So, if real rest does not often come in the form of watching TV, what is it?
What is Rest?
I came across so many definitions as I was looking up the definition of rest on the internet; however, all of them basically said the same thing:
“A period where you cease work or movement to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” (I mixed the noun and the verb definitions I found to make one comprehensive definition).
Let’s break this down: A period of time.
There is no specific amount of time daily that one should rest. It could be 5 minutes or 60 minutes, it all depends on your schedule. In addition to what I call “daily rest,” we should also choose one full day to rest during the week. I’m not saying sit around and do nothing all day. What I am saying is to choose 1 day where you cease to work completely. This leads us into the next part of the definition: Cease from work or movement.
Cease from work or movement.
Notice how it says work OR movement, not work AND movement. Yes, you can rest by ceasing from work and movement but that is not what you have to do to rest. Rest, to me, is mostly ceasing from work but, to some people, rest is ceasing movement (and most likely work too).
And finally, the three R’s: relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
These are the reasons we rest. We need to relax and recover our strength. It is refreshing to our mind, body, and soul.
Why is rest important?
In fitness, we have “rest days” and these days are crucial in muscle development. In an article from bodybuilding.com they say “It is rest that makes you stronger, because it is the rest that allows the muscles that you have broken down to heal and recover. It is the rest that allows you to recover so you can be strong, and thereby handle the increased weight, and increased number of sets and reps needed to gain further.” Rest days in fitness are good analogy for the kind of rest we are discussing in this blog post. We need to rest, refresh, and/or recover our minds and souls from the wear and tear of life. It may seem like it makes us weak, but that is so far from the truth! Rest allows us to take off the weight of today so that we are ready for tomorrow. When you don’t take time for rest daily, you are carrying the weight of every day with you and it is exhausting! When we take time to recover, it makes us stronger. Rest lets us handle more that we could’ve handled before because it rejuvenates us. Another reason rest is important is that it alleviates stress.
Now that I am self-employed and I work from home, the hardest thing for me has been turning my brain off from work. This has caused so much added stress to my life that I find myself irritable, anxious, and constantly getting tension headaches. We all know that stress is terrible for us. Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist, says chronic stress, “Weakens your immune system over time, which cripples your ability to fight off foreign invaders like bad bacteria and viruses, leading to inflammation and leaky gut.” Rest helps us fight stress.
How you can implement rest into your life?
When it comes to rest, each person is different. What might be restful to one person, another person might not find restful. Some things that you might want to try are to schedule fun into your week, rest one day a week, meditate on scripture, and hang out with positive, uplifting people. You could watch TV and veg out, practice gratitude, journal, go for walks, sleep or read etc. It really depends on you and what makes you relax, feel refreshed, and recover. Also, there is a difference between resting and being lazy/procrastinating. Remember that!
Now that we have discussed what rest is and the benefits it has in our lives, try to rest daily for a period of time that suites you.
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KEEP UP THE FIGHT!
But don’t forget to rest 😊