In my late 20's I was a doing-machine. Even on holiday, I never stopped. I was making sure I would visit any attraction listed in the Lonely Planet. I was telling myself things like:
“I better visit everything now because I probably won't come back to this country again”
“It would be a waste of time & life to lay by the swimming pool”
“I need to burn some calories so I better get moving”.
Modern society celebrates doing and especially doing quickly. As a kid you're complimented when you finish your breakfast and get out of the door quickly. As an adult you’re receiving constant inputs about easy & quick recipes, how to lose weight in no time, how important it’s to work hard & deliver projects on time if you want to get a promotion.
Is all this true?
When reflecting on this doing-doing-doing mentality I realised that it was a coping mechanism to:
Distract myself from feeling strong emotions
Demonstrate my worth to others
Receive validation from others
Hide a feeling of not being enough
In the past few years my perspective on doing has shifted. I believe that taking action has a purpose, but it needs to be balanced by an equal amount of rest & relaxation.
In this article I’m inviting you to lean into REST by looking at it from 3 different angles.
Choose the one which resonates the most with you. Use it as your intention to come back to balance over and over again.
#1 - REST AS A PHYSIOLOGICAL NEED
Rest is often overlooked despite its vital benefits which include:
shaking off stress and anxiety
re-balancing the nervous system
developing the skills and abilities to self-soothe
improving the function of your immune system
reducing muscle tension
improving sleep quality
Rest is about giving your body the time & space to recalibrate, to reset after going through stressful situations.
When you ignore this step, your body will still try to do its best to go back to balance by accumulating the stress & tension in your body cells -i.e. muscular tension in neck & shoulders. Prolonged accumulation of tension will become chronic stress or burn-out.
REST is a physiological necessity.
You have the power to team-work with your body and to create the space and the conditions for your nervous system to heal.
#2 - REST AS AN ACT OF REBELLION
REST is an act of rebellion. It’s telling the world that you’re ready to challenge the status quo. You’re ready to put yourself first despite what other people / ads / social media feeds say you should do.
When you choose to REST, you’ll probably have to say “No” more often than before.
At first, this is hard because you don’t want to disappoint / upset other people or you don’t want to miss out. But, the sense of empowerment that you feel when you genuinely want to stay home & chill, and you have the courage to express your need to others, is priceless.
Subconsciously it’s like telling yourself “I hear you and I have your back”.
Awwww, That's powerful! 🔥
#3 - REST AS A PORTAL TO EMOTIONAL FREEDOM
I’m a very emotional person. I used to classify emotions as “good” & “bad”. When the “bad” emotions were coming up I was trying to suppress them with a busy lifestyle or with food.
After overcoming post-natal depression and burn-out my perspective has changed. I believe all emotions are equally important. They’re like messengers telling you that some areas of your life need attention or they’re giving you the motivation to change / improve your current situation.
Some emotions - like shame & guilt - are uncomfortable, but the only way to fully process them and to learn from them is to feel them.
To deeply feel, you have to slow down.
Don’t get discouraged if it’s hard at first. The more you do it, the easier it’ll get. The good news is that when you open up to feel strong & uncomfortable emotions you also open up to feel more the emotions that fill up your heart like joy & excitement.
Set yourself FREE by welcoming & feeling your emotions. Don't let your emotions dictate your mood. Learn how to use your emotions as a tool to grow and to learn 🙌.
Here you have it! 3 perspectives to look at REST. Thank you for reading until the end.
Let me know in the comments below which angle of REST does resonate the most with you?
If you’re ready to give REST the attention it deserves I’m inviting you to join me at RESTIVAL. It’s a 3 days online retreat on the 25th-27th Feb.
Meet world-leading experts in yoga, meditation, self-development, Ayurveda and much more. Join us to explore different ways to relax your body & to calm your mind.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to stay glued to the screen for 3 days (that wouldn't be relaxing! 😅). You can hop in & out the event as you wish. Even if you can join only a few sessions, you still get great value!
More info & tickets HERE.
Until the next time…
Be WILD, be YOU!