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A friend once told me that REST is not a 4-letter word...

Updated: Mar 7

(Of course it is, but you get the point!)

Why do we struggle against rest?

If you are feeling a constant pressure to keep “doing”, to the detriment of your mental and physical health, you are not alone. It's become the societal norm to highly value productivity and achievement. We’ve equated productivity with achievement, and achievement with success. Even children are highly scheduled into activities with the goal of skills development, rather than the goal of having fun.

Our focus on achievement not only robs us of fun, it actually makes relaxation very difficult. According to an article in Psychology Today, stress, anxiety and depression often result from non-stop pressure to achieve, and this physically interferes with our body’s relaxation mechanism. 

So when you finally do get a day or weekend to relax and are too restless to enjoy it? That’s your body and its sympathetic nervous system staying revved up.

I’ve been working really intensely lately and was definitely feeling it. Over the past weekend I made a conscious choice to take the 2 days for full on rest and relaxation. My intention was tea on the couch with a good book, Netflix, snacks, and my dog. I dreamed of this in the days leading up to the weekend, yet when Saturday arrived, I found it difficult to stay on that couch!

However, I kept at it. I took deep breaths. I read my book in small batches. I allowed myself to daydream. Slowly, my body started to calm down. When I got the urge to jump up and do something “productive”, I acknowledged that urge, then chose something else that was relaxing and rewarding. I even had a nap!

The results? After 2 days of rest, I felt better than I have felt in weeks! My thinking was clearer and sharper, I was more productive, and most of all - I was happier.

You deserve rest, relaxation, and the happiness that it brings! Let’s challenge the pressure to be constantly doing and instead, prioritize our health and happiness.

Share your tips in the comments for ways to rest and relax, and tag a friend who needs to hear this message.

*Authentic content written by Kimberly Lyall, Lighting up Leaders

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