Most of us live in a society of hustle and grind, work and workout harder, do more and achieve more. Or at least we’re raised with some level of this mentality. But when is enough enough? Are there better ways we can be living our lives, getting more out of them, and “achieving” just as much as we already are – if not more? Absolutely. Our answer? More rest!
The Rest Revolution
In places where the hustle mentality is dominant, burnout tends to be rampant, and people sacrifice their needs, relationships, and well-being for the sake of doing more. When you’re reaching burnout, or are just doing too much, everything in your life tends to be impacted for the worse.
That’s why we’re seeing more and more social media accounts dedicated to spreading the message of rest, as well as more wellness trends like float tanks and Yin yoga that encourage people to rest and rejuvenate. There is a rest revolution taking over, and we are all here for it.
Rest and The Nervous System
Rest is critical for regulating your nervous system, which is responsible for controlling processes, regulating, and communicating in the body. The nervous system gets amped up by stress, causing hormones like cortisol to rise. Some cortisol is necessary, and some stress is natural, but too much of it can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
If you experience stress-related anxiety, headaches, tension, or hormonal dysregulation, it may be time to take a rest. Not that you need an excuse to. Rest is one of the best antidotes to stress and helps bring the nervous system to a state of relaxation and regulation. If you feel like you don’t have enough time to rest, let’s put it this way – you actually don’t have enough time to not rest.
Rest More and Do More
When you’re in work or school mode or are trying to achieve certain goals you tend to think that more is more. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes when you’re doing more for the sake of more, you start to get sloppy, doubt yourself, or just aren’t producing your best work.
Think about working out. If you’re into fitness or sports, you know the importance of rest days. This allows your muscles to recuperate and helps prevent injury so that when you get back at it, you’re able to perform better. Rest doesn’t just create physical rejuvenation, it regulates your emotions, your mental health, and your spirit.
Hustle and burnout do not feed creativity and inspiration, they zap it. If you ever feel like you’re in a rut, have writers’ block, or are just not producing the kind of work that you want, you most likely need more rest. Giving yourself the rest that you need helps you to work smarter, not harder so that you can do more of what’s important to you and feel better overall.
Rest and Sex
Rest doesn’t just help you in your work or school life, it can also enhance your sex life. Female sexual pleasure can be complicated, especially when you throw in the stress of everyday life. When you allow yourself to rest enough to regulate your nervous system, you’re able to experience more pleasure and form a deeper connection with yourself and your partner, if you have one.
This is why things like breathwork and meditation can all help enhance your sex life. Rest gives you the space to be able to communicate better, feel more nuanced and complex levels of pleasure, and have the kind of sex that you’ve been dreaming of. Sound too good to be true? Give it a try for yourself.
Work With Your Cycle
One of the best ways to create more opportunities for rest is by working with your menstrual cycle. Your hormones fluctuate and change throughout the month, especially around ovulation and your period. These fluctuations can make you more tired or energized (which I know you’re well aware of), and naturally, require more rest.
If you ever feel discouraged by fluctuating energy levels, you can start to have more grace with yourself by understanding what’s causing these changes. Tracking your cycle with tools like a cycle journal and period apps helps give you insight into your energy levels, and what to expect at different times in the month. Getting to know your cycle allows you to plan projects and social activities around times when you have more energy, and create space for rest when you need it most.
Rest Your Own Way
If naps aren’t your thing, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to rest. Lounging around the house and watching Netflix might be your go-to, or maybe you rest by kicking back and cracking jokes with friends. You might love to cook or play music, or prefer to read. Rest is anything that, well, helps you feel rested. You get to rest your own way.
The most important thing when you’re starting to rest more is to reserve judgment. If you judge yourself for resting, however, you’re doing it, you’re actually creating more stress. You deserve all the rest you need, and there’s no need to feel guilty about it. Now go get your rest on!