"Opinion" Do you rest enough?

Jennifer Bonn

Most doctors will tell you that resting enough is a smart idea to maintain good health, and athletic trainers will tell you that adequate rest is an important part of any training routine. Here is a portion of the article, Why it’s important to allow yourself to rest on the Integris Health site.

“So many Americans are caught in the grind of work, family responsibilities, and ongoing stress. Often, we only allow ourselves to truly rest on holidays or vacations. However, it’s so important to prioritize adequate rest and quality sleep in your everyday life. Rest and sleep are two different things, but both are equally important to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Plus, prioritizing rest can improve your quality of sleep.

Rest can be difficult to define because it can look different for everyone. Rest is any behavior aimed at increasing physical or mental well-being. It can be active, such as going for a walk outside, or passive, such as taking 10 minutes to sit down and breathe deeply. Regardless of how you choose to rest, these daily behaviors can help you recover and recharge from physical and mental efforts. That’s why better rest is linked to better physical and mental health.”

So, if we all agree it is important, why do we have so much trouble doing it? The easy answer is that most of us don’t make time for it. We live in a culture that rewards productivity, so we sometimes feel guilty if we are not doing something. I spent an hour reading on the porch today and I kept thinking there was probably something more important I should be doing, but what is more important than recharging and renewing? Most of us have all sorts of responsibilities and only 24 hours to complete them. It is easy to see why we are stressed and tired.

Another reason we struggle to rest well is that we are so connected to our tech. We go to our phones when we have downtime, and social media can cause more stress or stimulation than it can relax us.

Some of us are also not wired to relax. I have trouble sitting still for very long if I am not doing a task. I also have so many things I want to do that the idea of curling up on the couch usually doesn’t work for me. The rare times that I have climbed under the covers to watch television, someone in my family asks me if I’m o.k.

What can we do to rest more? How can we make it a priority? Here are a few ideas.

Give yourself breaks. This could be a day when you disconnect from your phone, or you don’t have to do some of your responsibilities like cleaning the house.

What can you ask others to do? We try to take it all on ourselves when we could delegate some things. This goes for at home too. Give everyone a chore.

Set boundaries for your time. Your time is valuable so decide how you need to protect it.

Get outside more. Nature can have a relaxing effect on you.

Leave for work or other obligations a little earlier so you have a time cushion and will be less stressed.

Use calming music to relax.

I know finding time to rest is not always easy, but we can be better at everything we do if we are doing it fully charged.

Jen Bonn

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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