7 ways to rest more
Rest is something almost everyone in our society needs more of. In times of hustle culture and defining yourself based on how much you are ahead of others we need to make a conscious choice to concentrate on rest. That’s why I wanna share 7 ways to rest more. Most are simple, but we all need reminders of these options existing every now and then.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are not the same thing and meditation doesn’t have to be about sitting down and closing your eyes. There is a mindfulness practice for everyone. For some a basic meditation in the morning can make all the difference. For others yoga is a good way to regularly come back to their bodies. There are also walking meditations, breathing techniques for throughout the work day and exercises meant for you to stay present and feel your emotions healthily. It’s trial and error for what works for you, but once you find the right thing, implementing it into your week will make a lot of difference for your stress levels.
Spend time in nature
This is one of my favorite things to do when my life is too overwhelming for me and I need time alone. Walking through fields and forests regulates your nervous system immensely. This can be anything from a slow walk to take everything in and take pretty pictures of flowers, to a full-on hiking experience. Going for a nature walk right in the morning can do a lot for your stress levels for the rest of the day and also gets your blood pumping early on in the day. An evening walk can also be a good activity to wind down around dinner.
Take a nap
There is more and more research done on taking short naps. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if you sleep less than 7h at night you should implement a nap into your day and find the right length for you. Based on the studies I’ve read, 10 minutes seems to be a good time to be refreshed and 90 minutes is a full sleep cycle which recharges you the most. I’ve also heard several times that 30 minutes are working for the least amount of people because that interrupts you in the middle of a sleep cycle. See what works for you and if you struggle with falling asleep also learn techniques to fall asleep more easily.
Journal your thoughts out
If your mind cannot rest from thoughts you aren’t getting high quality rest. If you have a lot of tasks you need to get done on your mind, do a brain dump and write them all out of your system and order them by priority. That way they aren’t something you have to remember the entire time. If your thoughts are more on the side of worrying about a problem you should try prompts for that. My favorite method is to write down the worst case scenario, then the best case scenario and from there write down the most likely outcome for your worries. If it’s a solvable problem you could also just jot down ways to solve it or ways to process your emotions.
Practice positive self talk
This also connects to the point of your mind not being at rest if you’re spiralling. If you constantly worry or talk down yourself for resting and other reasons, you need to start countering those thought patterns. If you think you’re lazy, for example, you can counter that with the fact that humans aren’t machines and need to rest to function and that laziness is a concept that has been made into something negative due to mankind being defined by their productivity. Telling yourself that you deserve to rest or feel whatever else you’re feeling and having compassion with the part of you talking down on you are very healthy coping mechanisms to develop.
Play, be childish
This one isn’t talked about enough in my opinion. Connecting to your playful side and inner child are both healing and relaxing. It’s okay to be a little goofy or do things that you’re too old for by society’s standard. There is nothing wrong with watching childhood shows, playing with board games geared to children, getting into TTRPGs or dancing with the level of joy a toddler has. Play is a need we often don’t fulfill enough, even though it helps us with getting to know ourselves better and makes us more resilient. So go and be a little childish if you want to, nothing wrong with that.
Literally just lay there, no phone
I feel like especially millennials and Gen Z (still don’t know which one I belong to lol) for the most part have lost the ability to just BE. Many of us take a break from work, sit down and within two minutes we are concentrated on scrolling through social media. While I think social media can be a great tool of connection and inspiration, we should start realizing just how much we’re escaping the present with our phone. Relax more without your phone. Whether that be by using more useful distractions like a good book or really just laying down and doing absolutely nothing.
There you have it, 7 ways to rest more. These all seem so basic at the end of the day, but I am just as guilty as anyone when it comes to forgetting about half of these. Learning how to be good to yourself and fulfill your own needs is such an essential part of early adulthood in my opinion. That’s why I made a little eBook about it a while ago for my email subscribers, so they have an easier time naming their unmet needs and finding ways to fulfill them. Go check it out for yourself:
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7 ways to rest more by Rabea