“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ― John Lubbock
Our culture values productivity. The Internet is jam-packed with courses, tips, and life hacks that promise to make you more productive, more efficient, a better manager of your own time. While there is a place for these, sometimes the side effect is that we feel we have to be productive every minute of every day. If you feel that this happens to you, then keep reading. Here are a few ideas you can apply to enjoy your rest and ensure that you are getting enough of it.
Resting can give you energy
Often, we struggle with not doing anything, because we feel we have to be productive. One way to enjoy rest and allow ourselves more of it is to accept that it will nurture our growth and development. Rest is a necessary condition for being effective and efficient. It’s what you need in order to function properly.
When we deny ourselves rest, we might feel that we are being more productive. This can be true in the short-term. But in the long term, we are sabotaging ourselves. We can productive and creative with no rest only for so long. Eventually, it will mess up our physical and emotional health.
Your mind also needs a break
Our mind is always working, in one way or another. In the modern world, we often give it additional workouts. When we try to disengage from work or the stresses of daily life, we often put on social media or shows or other content. This, while less difficult, can also keep our mind busy.
This means that we rarely rest our minds, instead, they are always working, and this can be just as exhausting. Before going to bed, our heads are still usually filled with thoughts. When we give our minds the chance to rest, it becomes easier to do things in other situations, plan, pay attention, and make the necessary choices.
Rest provides you with better skills
Rushed decisions and decisions we make from a place of stress are rarely the best. We might go for an option without measuring all the consequences or dash towards the first choice just to get something done. Often, what we need is the chance to slow down and also the opportunity to slow down.
Rest allows us to take a break and slow down, so we can make better decisions and take a pause when we feel rushed. Rest makes it more likely that we will arrive at an accurate conclusion or consider all the details. It empowers us to act in more efficient ways and improves our cognitive processes, from memory to decision-making.
Rest is a source of serenity
Rest allows you to feel calmer in different situations. When we stop taking breaks or sleeping, we get very irritable and easily stressed. Even tiny disruptions to our routine can make us explode with anger. Often, even if we don’t express this anger or frustration, it’s eating us up inside and constantly drawing our attention to little problems, like a small delay or a slow person walking in front of us.
This is just not constructive. But beyond this, it can be very stressful and wear us down. Physically and emotionally, a constant irritability and feelings of anger that don’t resolve can hurt us and make it likely that we will explode. Bursts of anger can hurt others, however, they can also hurt us. Being seen as angry or irrational damages our reputation, makes people less likely to want to work with us, and can damage our most cherished relationships. After all, nobody likes being at the receiving end of an angry outburst.
The body will claim what it can’t get
You might be driving your body through the day, but your brain and your overall organism will also claim what they need. If you are not sleeping, you will start falling asleep at inconvenient times. If you are not resting, your body will go on strike and refuse to think or produce.
While, to a degree, we are in control of what we do, there comes a point when the body will claim its rest as it can. Sometimes, it comes when we are too tired to pay attention and get in a little scrape or just get sick. The body will eventually give up on waiting on you to provide what it needs and begin to rebel: falling asleep, forgetting things, getting sick, slipping or tripping, and so on. This doesn’t necessarily happen intentionally, but it is a consequence of being too fatigued to function, so it’s better to take your rest when you can and not let it get that far.