The Art of Replenishment: Tapping into the Multiple Forms of Rest in Everyday Life (Episode 327)
In a world filled with constant busyness and overwhelm, it can be easy to overlook the importance of rest and relaxation. Yet here's the thing - rest is not just about taking a vacation or sitting on the couch all day. It's about intentional and purposeful self-care in all areas of our lives. Let's explore the different aspects of rest - from emotional and sensory to spiritual and ecological.
The Importance of Intentional Relaxation
Have you ever stopped to think about how much tension and stress we carry around without even realizing it?
Yes, you cannot avoid it - take a look at the health issues in our country and you'll get a clear example of what happens if you deny rest for your body, mind, and soul. I believe many of our physical ailments are triggered (or even created) due to our lack of self-care, and allowing our bodies, minds, and souls to recover from the busyness that surrounds us.
How can we pull back from the constant hustle and create more opportunities for rest in our lives? I think a biggie is exploring how we can embrace rest beyond just a nap. There are many different aspects of rest to address, and I was inspired by a powerful Instagram post on this topic this week.
The Different Aspects of Rest
Rest is not just about sinking into the couch with a tub of ice cream (although that can be deliciously restorative too!). It encompasses so much more. Nicola Jane Hobbs, who created this post, says, "Rest is anything that makes our nervous systems feel safe enough to switch off our stress responses so our minds and bodies can move into a state of recovery, restoration, and growth."
Beyond just taking a vacation, there are many different aspects of rest to address. This was such an "ah-ha" for me to read through what she laid out here, and see the many ways we seek rest.
I love projects, and, while Nathan can tease me about not sitting still, I found affirmation in many of the creative ventures I love to pursue as I viewed them through this lens Nicola lays out. The projects I often pursue are a mental recharge for me, like mindless weeding or following along with a pre-made craft project.
Note these different facets of rest that go beyond just taking a nap -
1. Emotional Rest: Just as our bodies need physical rest, our hearts and minds need emotional rest too. Whether it's through crying, journaling, therapy, or simply allowing ourselves to feel and process our emotions, emotional rest is vital for inner peace.
2. Sensory Rest: Our senses can be overstimulated by the fast-paced world we live in. Soothe your soul by creating a calm environment with silence, relaxing music, and soothing scents. Slip into cozy socks and comfortable clothing that allow you to truly unwind. I love how Nicola explained in her caption that rest is often the opposite of what you've been in. So if you've been in a fast-paced environment with a lot of sensory overload, creating some silence and white space can be valuable. However, if you've been isolated in a cubicle all day, maybe your "rest" is going out on the town with friends.
3. Creative Rest: Engaging in creative activities is like fuel for our souls. Paint, write, bake, or try your hand at a new hobby. This type of rest stimulates our imagination and brings a sense of joy and fulfillment.
There are many, many books, talks, and more that talk about the importance of downtime to enhance your creativity. How many brilliant ideas have been formulated in the shower, or while building a fort with kids?
Nurturing Relationships Through Rest
Rest is not only about taking care of ourselves but also about nurturing our relationships. Intimacy, whether it's through physical affection, quality time, or simply having meaningful conversations, is crucial for creating stronger bonds. Just like our bodies wear out without proper care, our relationships can also deteriorate without regular reconnection. So, make that time to recharge and refresh your relationships.
Connecting With The Natural World
Nature has a way of nurturing our souls and providing us with a sense of interconnectedness. I love the idea of ecological rest, which involves reconnecting with nature and giving back to it. From caring for houseplants to exploring the great outdoors, find ways to contribute to the beauty and well-being of the world around you.
Especially in light of so many climate issues, taking an ecological rest goes beyond yourself to provide relief for our world as a whole. Maybe it's a car-free or meat-free day. Maybe it's doing one simple shift in your home you've been thinking about but didn't make time for. Over the years, we've switched to reusable bags, moved to about 85% vegan, and switched our laundry detergent, feminine products, foods, and more to more sustainable options. These can impact not only rest for yourself and our planet but also the altruistic rest she explains above as well.
Now that we've explored the many dimensions of rest, it's time to put it into action.
I challenge you to think about how you can incorporate different forms of rest into your daily life.
Pay attention to what truly nourishes your body, mind, and soul, and make intentional choices to prioritize those restful activities.
Remember, my friend, rest is not a luxury; it's a necessity for our well-being.
So, pause, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to rest and recharge. Your family will thank you, and you will find renewed energy and joy in your journey as a parent, and beyond. Let's reclaim rest together!