“Lose your mind and come to your senses.”
  —Fritz Perls

self-care: rest

Self-care is the practice of sufficiently prioritizing what helps you feel well.  As one option for self-care, rest is worth your regular attention, especially when you secretly know you badly need it.  Besides, it typically feels really good once you settle into it and accept your right to have some.  Plus, rest has the paradoxical benefit of enhancing productivity over the long haul.

What can you do to rest when you need to and want to?  There are so many ways to rest.  Keep it simple if that approach feels best.  Lay on the couch, spend a luxurious morning in bed, release yourself from your to-do list long enough to lower the volume on its urgency.  Unplug if you can.  The important part is that you let go for a while.   You don’t have to do anything.  You’re resting.

To support that cause, bear in mind that for as long as there have been doctors and healers in this world, their most reliable prescription for ailments of all sorts has been to rest.  The body is wise and seeks balance and homestasis when you give it a real opportunity to.  Don’t wait so long to give it one that you end up needing one of a more drastic medical intervention.  The philosopher Betrand Russell wrote his famous essay “In Praise of Idleness” to support our natural need for rest.

The benefits of allowing regular rest in your life include:

  • more energy
  • better sleep
  • enhanced immunity
  • increased concentration
  • better problem-solving abilities
  • greater efficiency
  • smoother emotions — less anger, crying, anxiety, frustration
  • less headaches and pain
  • gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate
  • reduces blood pressure