As we get older every day, our bodies require more and more rest just to function. But how exactly do we truly rest in an overworked and hustle culture? This is the question of the century. This article isn’t aimed at answering this larger systemic question, but rather addresses what activities to do right now to feel well rested.
I remember the days when I had difficulty getting up in the morning or found myself unable to focus around 2-3pm every day. I remember feeling unwell and having a hard time managing all of my activities and responsibilities. Our bodies require rest in order to function. These three quick and easy adjustments to my life, practiced consistently over a long period of time, have brought me balance to where I can get true and deep rest, while remaining active and more focused while I am active.
Here we go:
How often during our day are our senses bombarded? We have access to and live in constant stimulation by our phones alone. Our brain has to translate everything that we experience throughout the day through our central nervous system – how exhausting! How often do we give our senses a rest? Intentional quiet / sensory deprivation time teaches the body that it’s OK to not have any stimulation. In fact, the longer you do it and more often, the more our bodies respond positively to times of quiet and peace. In the quiet times, we are able to sit with our thoughts, feelings and emotions and give them some awareness. This is transformational for our resting state because we are teaching our bodies that it is safe to rest. Even for 5 minutes per day, an intentional effort over a long period of time makes a massive difference.
We are all complicated house plants with deep emotions. We need sunshine and water! How many ounces of water are you drinking per day? Our bodies are made up of mostly water. We need the H2O to lubricate our organs, muscles, joints, and blood cells. What happens to our bodies when that vital moisture is unavailable? We dry out and get hard and have a harder time functioning. Drinking ~half a gallon of water per day (or more) is where our bodies function optimally. Start tracking how much water you drink and see where you are at for the recommendation. Find new ways to add hydration to your life consistently and see how it affects your sleep and other forms of rest.
Our phones are little computers that connect us to the outside world. The blue lights on our screens alone ignite the nervous system to be more wired and awake, let alone if we are checking social media or doing some online shopping. Without the use of your phone, what other activities might you do one hour before bed or one hour after waking up? This time can be used to do other restful activities such as gentle yoga, journaling, or breathing exercises. It is a great way to begin and end every day with quiet reflection. And doing it daily over longer periods of time will bring you to a space of deeper sleep and rest during the night.
In conclusion, we live in a very stimulated world. Rest is just as important as staying busy and accomplishing tasks. Sometimes, to experience full and deep rest, we have to adjust our stimulation levels. The above shared activities to do right now to feel well rested, completed consistently over a period of time, will make lasting and transformational changes to your experience of rest and will give you even more energy for active times.
California Associate Clinical Social Worker #ASW100012
Under supervision of:
Javanne Golob #77915
San Francisco, California
I am a clinical therapist specializing in providing personalized care for individuals seeking support in addressing their mental health concerns, including trauma and addiction.