When you need to rest
Updated: Feb 16
Do we even know what it means?
Here are two definitions of the word "rest” taken from the Oxford Dictionary:
“Allow to be inactive in order to regain strength or health”
“Cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength.”
Now this is quite different than being lazy…
“Lazy” : “Showing a lack of care.”
When we are resting we are being inactive with care, with intention, with presence. We are taking space to regain our health, be it mental, physical, or emotional. We are nourishing ourselves so we can maintain strength.
Can you achieve optimal rest?
I hope so, and once you do, let me know how you got there. Here is what rest does not look like.
Resting is not zoning out while scrolling through some type of screen, be it a phone, computer, or TV. Resting is not binge eating. Resting is not getting comfortable and then spending your time talking to others. Resting is not working after hours. Resting is also not cleaning your house… or partaking in an activity which soothes a compulsive behavior you may have. Last but not least, resting is not partaking in mind altering or mind numbing substances. Most of those things are used as an escape, and at the heart of the matter are just forms of self abuse.
I don’t mean you can’t ever enjoy those things, but don’t pretend like it is self care or nourishing… and don’t substitute it for genuine and sincere rest.
Resting can look different for everyone, but in todays go- go -go society the first part is to own up to it when you need to rest. There is nothing wrong with not feeling like participating in the daily grind.
For individuals who know and understand their innate learning style and natural intelligence, it can be much easier to hit the “reset” button and slip into rest and relax mode. Some people need their hands to be doing something all of the time; and it helps them relax. Some people need absolute silence while others can’t handle being without noise. Understanding yourself is a truly key part.
Even still, you should absolutely take space for yourself, shut down all the electronics, all the communication lines, and rest. Spending time like this will help you to learn about yourself anyway. Very few people these days know how to be still, quiet, or alone. Here are a few simple suggestions to get you going.
Take out a pen and paper, and write. Freeform writing, you just write the thoughts in your head as the pen is moving in your hand and lines are forming, actual information will come through you.
Prepare a bath, or a steam bath, and relax. Close your eyes. And imagine that nothing at all exists beyond your oasis of a bath. Let your mind melt away. And be still. ** Noise canceling headphones, dim or natural lighting, eye mask, and essential oils can really help with this.
Go for a walk in nature, preferably where there will be few people, or interruptions. ** otherwise walk with headphones in- nothing playing- to deter others from stopping you. As you walk, imagine you are for the first time ever experiencing the world around you. Use your eyes, every shape and color that you come across - try to call it without thinking of the predetermined name you have known it by.
- Of Wolves and Wildflowers-