Let's Talk About REST
Let's talk about REST, baby Let's talk about you and me Let's talk about all the good things And the bad things that may be Let's talk about REST
A few weeks ago I read an interesting article called “The 7 Types Of Rest That Every Person Needs,” and it got me thinking more about rest - what it is, what it can be, and why we need it.
As I mentioned in my blog last week, things have been hard. I think most people are feeling that nowadays. The pandemic and political climate are just the dark and stormy backdrop in the dystopian reality of our lives. It makes every little thing seem that much harder and stressful and exhausting.
Most people I know are napping more than ever before. Everyone is tired.
My body is tired.
My brain is tired.
My heart is tired.
My soul is tired.
I am tired.
We need rest.
Rest does not just mean napping every day and going to bed earlier. (Although that’s okay to do too.)
Most people might say that exercise is the opposite of rest, but I think it can be a type of rest.
Science and anecdotal evidence have shown us over time that exercise can actually give you more energy. Exercise releases endorphins that brightens your mood, it boosts your immune system, it helps you sleep more soundly, and it builds strength and confidence to support your overall physical and mental (and spiritual) health overtime.
I’m not suggesting that you do an hour long HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class every day, or start powerlifting or training for a marathon. But I think some light exercise can be a very powerful tool for rest and recovery.
My friend Annie and I recently came up with the acronym GUARD: Gentle Uplifting Active Recovery Day. And it’s exactly what it sounds like.
It should be Gentle: maybe a short walk or a low-key yoga class. Or perhaps just vacuuming your house or re-organizing your closet.
It should be Uplifting: what’s an activity that makes you happy? That recharged your soul and puts a smile on your face in the end, even if you had to force yourself to start?
It should be Active: this is not a nap. This is not sitting on your couch binge-watching the new season of Bridgerton. This is something that gets you up and moving a little bit. Dance party?
And it should be a Recovery. Replenishing. Rejuvenating. It shouldn’t leave you feeling exhausted or thirsting for water. It should be a low enough intensity that it makes you feel BETTER - in mind and body and soul.
I usually struggle actually convincing myself to do the activity, whatever it is. But nine out of ten times, I feel better afterwards. I feel proud that I was able to accomplish at least one thing, and I usually have more energy and focus to do something else.
So the next time you feel just exhausted, whether it’s because you’ve been going HARD at the gym, or because you’re just trying to get through the week without falling apart, try putting your GUARD up and give yourself a Gentle Uplifting Active Recovery Day.
Let me know how it goes!