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Think you need to work hard before you can rest? In this episode, Jen explains why rest isn’t a reward; it’s a basic human need. If you haven’t been factoring in regular downtime, this is your wake-up call. Find out how you can be a happier, healthier, and more well-rounded person by incorporating more rest into your day.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

SHOWNOTES

“We all need rest, not because it makes us more productive at our jobs, but because it makes us happier, healthier, and more well-rounded people.” 

In the book Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, writer Katherine May writes about the seasonality of rest — that as human beings, we’ll invariably encounter seasons throughout life that require intentional escape. 

“[Wintering] is a time for reflection and recuperation, for slow replenishment, for putting your house in order,”

She writes, “Doing those deeply unfashionable things — slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting —is a radical act now, but it is essential.”

The pandemic has forced workers and corporations to adapt, and many workers found new freedom in working from home. 

A survey done in May 2021 of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their bosses weren’t flexible about remote work. Amongst millennials, it was 49%. That’s huge, and I get it.

What is the opposite of rest? Work.

The concept of workism, popularised by The Atlantic in 2019, describes how some workers almost religiously chase fulfilment and meaning through work (and that ultimately makes them miserable).

I grew up with a dad who said, “Jen, rest when all the work is done”. But guess what?  It’s never all done. I was a workaholic, which was one of the leading causes of my burnout.

So, rest is not a reward. You don’t work hard and then get to rest. Rest is a basic human need. Even Olympians don’t exercise 7 days a week.

Benefits of rest

Relaxing the muscles and quieting the brain can help restore a sense of calm during times of exhaustion, illness, or overexertion.

When you rest like this you:

  • Get sick less often
  • Stay at a healthy weight – as it keeps cortisol under control
  • Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
  • Reduce stress and improve your mood
  • Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
  • Experience less overwhelm
  • Be less cranky
  • Get along better with people

Ways to rest

Rest does not necessarily mean sleep. Let’s look at the different ways you can rest:

Rest your mind

  • Slow deep breaths through the nose
  • Soak in a bath
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Mindful meditation
  • Journal
  • Guided visualisation
  • Defrag – let your mind play – my ukulele
  • Walk the garden

Rest your body

  • Yoga
  • Qi gong
  • Progressive muscle relaxation 
  • Walk – just not on a mission speed
  • Massage
  • A warm, soothing drink without stimulants 

You are worthy of rest. Never feel guilty for taking time to rest – you deserve it.

If you haven’t been factoring in time to rest, this is your wake-up call. You need rest; it’s a key part of living life from a place of prevention.

Healthy Life Hacks

The Healthy Life Hacks I want to share with you today are:

  1. Identify if you have been factoring in rest during your day
  2. Determine what strategies you will implement
  3. Make it foolproof – diarise it

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.