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Amira McLaughlin

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“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol”

-Brene Brown

Our bodies are designed to rest. There is a natural rhythm of waking and sleeping that triggers our bodies into resting and rejuvenating. Most people don’t deny themselves time to sleep, but many aren’t getting enough sleep or proper sleep for that matter. 

Being physically tired is an indication that we need rest, but there are many ways that we can become tired. While sleep is a common form of rest, there are also different sorts of rest that help restore energy. The problem is, we live in a culture that doesn’t make rest a priority. Many people are so weary, they aren’t functioning at their best, but they don’t believe there is anything they can do about it. 

Nowadays, people are expected to work like they don’t have families and spend time with their family like they don’t have work. It’s nearly impossible to be all things to all people and not become utterly exhausted. Facts are if you don’t stand up for your right to rest, no one will. Making rest a priority in a busy world must start with you, and those around you must learn to accept and accommodate your healthy boundaries. 

Rest Can Feel Like an Indulgence

Since we live in a world that glorifies being busy, it’s hard to imagine resting as being responsible. Taking time off, doing nothing, in particular, having no plans, or intentionally making plans to unplug and refresh seems indulgent. That’s a sad commentary on our culture. Recovering from exhaustion or preventing it altogether is nothing to feel guilty about! 

Making rest a priority in a world that diminishes its benefits can feel like going against the grain. You’ve got to stand up for yourself and your family and integrate rest into your routine despite the normalcy to be busy. Setting boundaries and limits can help. Learning to incorporate rest into your routine will help keep your mind, body, and spirit from becoming weary. Encouraging others to rest and restore – as well as prevent exhaustion – will help ensure they are functioning at their best, too. 

Failure to rest can lead to illness, injury, or worse – none of which improves your quality of life. Make rest part of your routine regardless of how it’s perceived so you can be sure to have the stamina, enthusiasm, and brainpower to live your best life. 

2 comments on “Rest – Why We Need It in a World That Doesn’t Respect It

  1. AP2 says:

    Yes. Oh my god yes. Rest is vastly underrated. My days are far worse off if I try to push through after a bad nights sleep. If I need a nap, I take it. No questions now. Having an evening routine is crucial as well. Thanks for sharing 🙏

  2. Amira says:

    You’re so welcome! Always so welcome. I get you. When I do nap, I feel soooo much better when I awake. I am starting the practice of napping daily for 20-30 minutes — fingers crossed! I struggled for some time with this idea of rest as good and crucial to living at my best. When I taught public school, I rarely had a chance to rest– it seemed like there was a neverending list of things to do. On holiday breaks, I could not do anything but lay in bed and sleep from exhaustion. Now that I have more ownership of my time, I can check-in with myself, body, mind, and spirit to see if I need rest (yes, I am aware we need to check-in, rest, and take good care of ourselves, off and on a traditional job, no matter what.) So now, for me, resting is a form of revolution. I am taking back my life and re-prioritizing health and well-being. And I am inviting us all to do the same. (And I am happy that there are different forms of rest or I would be too bored 😉

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