Rest: Underrated?

Cat bliss
Photo credit: @Doug88888

I love the early morning. The world is waking up, temporarily free of the previous day’s cares. Cats are busily patrolling the neighborhood for breakfast. Coffee is brewing. No one else is awake, and the house is peaceful with burgeoning anticipation of what the day has in store. I have a peaceful oasis for reflection as I gently ease myself into the day.

I have heard so many people disparaging the need for rest. I think it’s mistakenly seen as a sign of weakness or laziness. Herein lies the paradox: Without rest, you become weak, stressed, and often distracted. Why? Your body demands a break from activity, whether it is physical, mental, spiritual, emotional — or some combination of all of those. Unheeded, your body will force you to take a break by becoming ill on some level.

This week has been an incredibly busy and stressful one for me on many levels. My students had final exams, I had to prepare for new courses that begin tomorrow, and I had some challenging demands in my personal life. My body sent up a warning flare in the form of a massive, almost migraine, headache that lasted for three days. Then it sent a scratchy throat. But I pushed through because so much needed to be done. Today, it feels like a semi has run over me and backed up a few times for good measure. Coincidence? I think not.

Rest is NOT a sign of weakness. It is a sign of conscious strength and self-respect. You choose to give yourself some down-time to re-charge. Doing so allows you to actually do more and to be more fully present in any given pursuit. If you don’t believe me now, wait and see how much more alive you feel with some rest periods in your day.

I encourage you to schedule your rest times like you do any other activity. As a general rule, the world will not end if you allow yourself even 15 minutes to rest, breathe, and re-center yourself.  But if it does, then we’ll all know, right? 🙂

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