Although people feel guilty for slowing down, rest is a productive activity and helps improve the quality of our lives.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Why most people find it difficult to allow themselves the space to rest? It has been deeply ingrained within us from growing up in a modern society where success is desirable. This means that putting in many hours of work, being productive, and being constantly on the go, makes us feel like outstanding members of society.
Following this way of thinking, rest has negative connotations because it is aligned with being lazy, not being productive, and not making our dreams come true. However, this is far from true.
When we think about rest, many of us have a hard time slowing down and taking a pause between transitions in our lives. However, we don't realize that we are worthy of this critical, productive, and self-preservation intervention most of the time. Mental health psychotherapist Eidit Choochage talks in her podcast "Therapeutic Life Healing" about the benefits of resting and why it is key to having a healthy lifestyle.
Advantages of Resting
Rest truly helps promote mental health. As proof of it: boosts creativity, increases productivity, fosters well-being, helps to reduce stress, improves your mood, strengthens relationships, etc.
When we think about rest, we believe it's not productive, or we don't have time to slow down. Choochage warns, "a lot of us are operating out of habit." The expert explains that we've been conditioned because of external pressures like society, culture, news, media, people in our life, and internal forces we put on ourselves.
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"If you are exposed to these constant narratives around you, you might end up thinking that slowing down, taking a pause, or taking time out for self-care isn't an option. Or if it is, it's not easy to do it. So you have to make the conscious choice and decision to prioritize rest," explains the psychotherapist.
Resting Makes You More Productive
It's not necessary to invest drawn-out hours of rest. Only five minutes at the start and the end of your day can be an excellent way to start. "You'd be surprised how just taking a few minutes out of each day, just a sacred time for yourself, can go a long way, especially if you don't do this frequently," says Choochage.
When you are resting, you might feel guilty, but you need to remember why rest is productive.
When you rest, your creative juices will flow, you'll feel reset and rejuvenated, your brain will have more space and time to relax. The less information and stimulus the mind has to process, the more the brain can make space for ideas to flow. It doesn't happen when you're swamped and with a never-ending to-do list.
"Imagine taking that step back from the daily grind and, on purpose, just giving yourself some space to pause and remind yourself that rest is productive," recommends the expert. Most importantly, by slowing down, you are going to feel better. After taking a moment of some deep breath or moving around to stretch your body, it will bring peace into your life.
Lastly, you're going to be more attuned to yourself. By doing so, you will be able to start feeling less guilty about resting. In fact, you are going to start craving more of it.
Make relaxing practice and a part of your life. "Push yourself through to keep showing up consistently to rest," recommends the mental health psychotherapist.