I think we are starting to make waves and make it clear that it is not indulgent to take care of yourself, but essential.
Taking care of yourself means being kind and compassionate to yourself. It means forgiving yourself. It means nourishing your body, mind and soul with foods that make you feel well, balanced and free. It means moving your body in a way that feels free, healthy and joyful. It means doing the things that light up your soul. It means so many things.
One thing that is so essential and so simple for self care is REST.
Yes, resting. Not exactly ground breaking news here, but something very simple that so many of us are not getting enough of. Resting is essential for your mental, physical and soul health.
A lot of people in the Western world have grown up with an attitude of do, do, do. Achieve, achieve, achieve. Push, push, push. Be better, do better, be more, do more. And do you know what? There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve your dreams, grow as a person and spiritual being, help others or push yourself out of your comfort zone. The problem is when this is done without any rest.
You cannot ever be your best self if you do not rest. 4 hours of sleep a night, no days off and surviving on coffee is not going to cut it. Your body needs adequate sleep each night. Yes, 7-9 hours, every night. Your body needs to be given nourishing food, not just coffee. You need days off to recharge. You need stillness and rest to recover.
By taking rest days from work, exercise or from whatever you need to do, you are giving your body, mind and soul a chance to recharge. It means you can then actually show up BETTER to what you need to do.
Now granted, many people have many responsibilities or may not have the luxury for taking rest. It is not so simple for a parent to be like, well I am going to take a day of rest to myself thank you. It is not so simple for someone having to work each day that God sends to support their family. However, rest can be incorporated gently. It can be an hour of me time. It can be a simple ten minute meditation. It can be prayer time. It could be lying on the floor with your legs up for five minutes, to just. simply. rest.
And with the things happening in our world, rest is more important than ever. If we are going to show up in the ways we can to help make a difference in this world, we need to be rested. We need adequate sleep. We need stillness. We need time to recharge.
Self care is not selfish, it is selfless. Because you can show up BETTER when you are rested.
With that said, here are some ways to add more rest in to your life:
- Have at least one day off from work a week if you can do this.
- Go to bed at a decent hour every night and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
- Seek stillness for even 5 minutes with no phones, no tv, no distractions.
- Take some deep, nourishing breathes.
- Lie on the floor with your legs up the wall for five minutes.
- PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.
- Go and relax in nature.
- Take a 20 minute power nap.
- Do something that nourishes your soul.
What are some ways you try and add more rest into your life?