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Rest For The Body & Soul

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coffee cup_restRest is such a vital part of a balanced life ~ for the body, for the mind, for the soul. When we don’t allow ourselves the time to rest, to take breaks, we operate on a level that isn’t sustainable long term.

Life is a balance between rest and movement ~ Osho

If you don’t stop every now and again then eventually your body will make you stop and not in a good way.

So, if it’s such a vital part of our existence, why is it that we’ve eradicated “rest” from our daily lives?

It used to be a natural part of the routine

According to the bible, the world was created in 6 days, the 7th was a day of rest. Sunday used to be reserved for religion and family, even shops weren’t open.

European societies were known for their regular siestas, a normal part of their daily routine. But these days we work longer, all year round and squeeze our “rest” into small achievable portions.

As a result, we’re manifesting disease and mental illness into our lives. Depression, anxiety, nervous breakdown, adrenal fatigue – all stress induced conditions.

When we talk about rest, however, we don’t necessarily mean sleep. It can mean something different to every individual.

Rest and self care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

~ Eleanor Brownn

Defining it

Defining it involves identifying where you need a break. Intentional rest teaches you how to practice intentionally resting, rather than consistently feeding adrenaline and allowing stress to manifest itself.

For some, exercise is an effective break or “rest” from work, which also has the added benefit of inducing restful sleep. For others, simply taking a break from their current activity ~ walking away from the computer to enjoy a coffee, going for a walk to get some fresh air, watching TV, reading a book, meditating, practicing yoga. Perhaps just sitting on the porch in the sun, doing nothing, even for a moment.

The key is to focus on what you need a break from, what causes you stress when you remain engaged for too long. This could include mental stress, physical stress, emotional stress.

The idea of stress also doesn’t have to have a negative connotation, it is a natural part of our life. It is our ability to switch on, engage, get going, be alert, fight or flight, hustle when we need to.

The problem lies in how long we allow ourselves to remain in the state of stress, how long we leave the “go” switch on.

Exploring ways to rest

Exploring ways to rest is simply allowing your body to switch over to your rest and digest mode, allowing your body to slow down or stop momentarily. Firing on all cylinders all day long and then collapsing into bed at the end of the day isn’t really the same thing.

Stopping due to exhaustion is not the same as taking intentional rest.

Explore what relaxes you, what you walk away from feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, refreshed or alive. Write a list of these things.

Now add one thing to each day and notice the difference.