By Leah Rodgers
Everywhere you look, it seems there’s something new to read about the benefits of rest. Forbes Magazine discussed its productivity value. American Medicine Today addressed its necessity for health, and Psychology Today talked about rest in terms of brain well-being. There’s also spiritual text of all kinds about how important rest is for the soul.
What most people don’t realize is that rest and rejuvenation are about more than catching up on sleep. You are a physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual being; All these areas require recharging, too!
We all need a balance between physical rest (sleep) for our bodies, reflective rest (solitude) for our hearts and minds, relational connection with loved ones (reconnection) and active rest (play), which is replenishing and energizing.
Curious about the different types of rest and how to factor them into your daily life? Here are some examples: Brain fog? Eat a healthy snack and meditate. Lonely and unsupported? Call a friend or close family member. Emotionally overloaded? Journal to reflect or book a session with a therapist. Spiritually unwell? Listen to an inspiring podcast or music, connect to a faith-based group or practice regular prayer. Does your brain need a break but your body feels restless? Go play! Take a fun fitness class, ride your bike or dance.
Think of your energy like a bank account. The more you put in, the more you will have to take out. The better you manage your money, the better your money can help take care of you. Likewise, the better you manage your emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and relational well-being, the more reserve you will have when needed. And, like money, you will need an energy “savings account” to sustain you during times of hardship.
By cultivating a balanced mindset of work, rest, reflect, reconnect and play, we develop ourselves as well-rounded beings. A person isn’t just what she does for a living, looks like, owns or has achieved; we all bring depth and meaning by being fully present. When we take time to pause and reflect, our contentment and gratitude grows, helping us to nourish our souls.
So how do we live a well-balanced life? I like how Martha Beck states it: “Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting, period ….” I would say rest, replenish, work, play, repeat.
Rodgers is owner/instructor at Selah Yoga and Arts Collaborative LLC at 526 E. Second St., Pass Christian. She can be reached at email@example.com.