Rest Is A Mandatory Requirement For Achieving Wellness

 This was previously titled: Rest Is The New Hustle

Rest is more than a suggestion for my clients. It’s a mandatory requirement for achieving or maintaining wellness. While your sleep is important, I’m not talking about your 7-9 nightly hours.

I’m talking about literally hitting pause. And planning for it! You plug your phone in every night right? Perhaps even multiple times per day!

It is difficult for most of us to take a rest day from exercise, let alone a rest period from life. We feel that exercise, hitting it hard, and getting our sweat dripping daily means we are being healthy. Workouts do not need to be daily, but your wellness does! 

When I hear people say how busy or tired they are as a humble brag. I kind of cringe. Somehow they believe that sounds impressive. All I want to do is shake them and ask them about their quality of life. Give up your seat aboard the hot mess express! You aren’t meant to be tired all the time. Our culture is completely over scheduled!

No matter what the reason for our fatigue…kids…jobs…half marathon training…up late watching that Netflix series… and of course stress… we tend to overlook it and think it is somewhat normal for our busy lives. That may be true, but that doesn’t negate the fact we need to honor that feeling and take time to give the body what it needs and craves, rest. Being tired might be a sign of something more serious, but often it just means we’ve hustled ourselves right into a nap.

 I turned to my favorite pack of people…my girlfriends…to gain some insight on the topic of  being tired. A couple of themes came through.

1. Women seem to be the ones who suffer from fatigue the most. 

2. It appears that there is a stigma around the phrase “I’m so tired” 

3. We as women, feel guilty when we take the time out to regroup, re-boot, or refuel with rest. 

4. Coffee is heavily used! 

Before you get on a soapbox about everything you have to do and how I couldn’t possibly understand between, kids, jobs, blah blah blah. Please stop. We ALL are busy. We ALL have obligations. Don’t take this as a critique. Take it as a wake up call. My hope is that you view this post as permission to audit your time.

I work part time in an industry that is full time caregiving. Personal training is more than a 60 minute workout session. I work my gals hard! We push, and then they are given strict instructions of resting, stretching, and partaking good fuel after every session. I talk almost daily with my fit fam and I love it. I believe I am a good nurturer and encourager to my clients, not to mention my friends, my dog, and my fiancé. In order to be good at serving them, I have to serve myself first. I do that by building in time for nothing.

I used to fill each week night with an activity, a workout, a meet up. Now a days, I allow myself to work 1 night per week, for 1-2 nights for workouts/socializing. And the other 2 for being home.

I’m often asked about scheduling tips and fitting everything in. When I was a teacher in my previous life, I learned a great deal about the importance of a good schedule and allowing some built in time for the unexpected. Sometimes the most healthy thing we can for our bodies and spirits is to simply do nothing at all. Friday’s have traditionally been a rest day for me. A day of no exercise. It is the one day a week where there are no expectations other than healing. A day like this should be built into any training cycle. A day for the muscles to repair themselves and just as importantly for the mind to take a break.

That philosophy translates well here. I’ve worked too hard to craft this life and it would be a dishonor to do anything than live it well.

Look at your weekly calendar now. What can you remove? Where can you block time for rest? For reading? For writing? For meditation? For cooking? For exercise?

There’s an art in saying no but there’s a major benefit in actually doing it. Take back your schedule, your time, your life. Call it self care, call it a rest day…whatever you do, just call it! Because you have taken time to rest, you will be ready once again for those tests of daily life, work, motherhood, etc. You will be more ready to move. Ready to be challenged. Snuggle in folks! With a little siesta time, you will be back to your beloved sweat filled life soon. A day of rest is simply a symbol, a reminder for what we all need on a regular basis.

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