Earlier this week, I wrote about my upcoming vacation, which is coming on the heels of learning just how bad at resting I really am. Most of the time, my first step toward change is awareness – in the past few weeks, I’ve become painfully aware of just how poorly I prioritize rest and getting what I need for my physical health. That’s why I decided to try and five ways that can help me begin to prioritize rest – not because it’s what I want, but because I know it’s what I need.
Making Time Every Day to Rest – Even If It’s Just a Moment
At first, I titled this “finding time” every day to rest, but I realized that isn’t going to be helpful. If all I try to do is find time for myself, that leaves the possibility that time won’t be there for me. I want to make time for myself to rest, even if that’s just sitting on my couch mindlessly for a minute. All of us could use more time where we are just being – where we’re not beholden to other people or things, even to ourselves. Even if it’s a moment, that might be what I need to get through the rest of that day.
I know that I’ll never stop multitasking completely – even as I type this, I’m listening to music and taking a break every few minutes to sip some coffee. Doing many things at once is almost a reflex at this point, but I am going to make a conscious effort to do it a little less. Not only is this helpful for being mindful, but I expend a lot of physical and mental energy trying to do too much at once.
Recognize that Rest Isn’t Just Sleeping…
For a long time, I thought getting more rest just meant getting more sleep. I’ve never been able to nap during the day so to me, the only efforts I could make toward rest happened at night. And thanks to insomnia, that was its own problem to solve. But finding new ways of resting or calming down my body are necessary for long-term success, and reminding myself that rest is more than just a good night’s sleep (though that is very helpful!) will add some needed positivity to this journey.
…But Also Trying to Build Better Sleeping Habits
That being said, getting quality sleep is good way to find rest that you couldn’t get throughout the day. For me, successful sleeping is all about prep work – making sure I’ve done what I need to do before I even get into bed so that when I am, I’m ready to drift off to sleep. Even if I don’t always get a good night’s sleep (which is a lot of the time), I’m building good habits for when those good nights do occur. And as I’ve learned, the joy of a good night’s sleep is reason enough to keep chasing!
Unlearn What I Know About Rest
This might be the hardest part of trying to build a new relationship with rest, but it’s arguably the most important. On the way to learning more about my wants and needs, I’ve learned about the unhealthy things I’ve grown into a habit of doing throughout my life. There’s a lot of unlearning I need to do, but this was an unexpected area for me. When I learn something new about myself that contradicts something I previously thought was true, it’s hard to grapple with. I hope that I can unlearn some of the unhealthy coping mechanisms I’ve learned, and replace those with healthy and helpful ways to find rest and healing.
These are just a few of the many, many ways that people find rest – I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you prioritize rest? Let me know in the comments below!
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