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We come from a time where we have access to information and activities 24/7.
We might have been taught to go-go-go if we want to succeed.
As a “recovering perfectionist,” I have been there and it actually caused me physical illness and chronic disease for seven years.
I wanted to make sure everyone around me was happy, the house was clean and everything, and that nearly everything on my daily to-do list was scratched off. Luckily, since healing and working with clients, I know the importance of rest for our well-being and the importance of walking my talk.
Resting helps us—body, mind, and spirit. If you need someone to give you permission to “rest” and not feel any guilt or laziness about it—consider permission granted! Now, please put your hands on your heart as you say the same to yourself, “permission granted.” It begins with you.
Boy, we like to go and do. Many of us have a hard time with “be-ing” and will do anything to keep going. Are you getting enough sleep? Do you listen to your body when it is yelling for a nap? Is your day filled with activities from the moment you get up until you go to sleep, or have you booked time in to simply rest and be? This can be sitting and zoning out in a park or on your porch. It can be a restful nap. It can look like listening to a guided meditation if you don’t do rest particularly well. It can be doing some breathing exercises (my favorite is Box Breathing, which was given to Navy Seals as a way to relax). Inhale in for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, hold for four, and repeat. Even doing this three times can bring the body into a more relaxed state.
Only you can carve out time to allow your body to rest. Only you know the amount of sleep you need to truly feel refreshed. Yes, you might have to turn down some invitations. You may need to set healthy boundaries or—gasp—“ask for help.” But giving your body permission to rest will help you have more energy in the long run. This will benefit not only you but everyone around you. With more rest, you will feel more awake, alive, and empowered.
Now this is a huge ask with technology the way it is now. Can you give yourself time away from your phone, computer, and TV? Can you give yourself time away from work? Do you give yourself time and space away from adding to or crossing off things on your never-ending “to-do list”? Do you give yourself permission to unplug and give your eyes and mind a rest?
During this technology and fast-paced age, we can feel almost guilty or uncomfortable if our mind isn’t being occupied. It can result in us pulling up Netflix and binging as we ask our minds to pay attention to the newest story line or the ups and downs of a reality show. It can also be that we are working on ourselves and feel we need the newest tool or self-help book. I tell my clients, just as if not more important than doing the work is deep rest. Relaxing your mind, now I mean truly relaxing your mind, can truly change your life.
You can use meditation to get into this space or the Box Breathing technique mentioned above. You can use one of my favorite meditation techniques, which is sitting eyes closed and just becoming aware of all the sounds around you, one by one…not judging…but noticing. So much is always going on around us, and we truly don’t even notice because we are so in our heads.
The more you tune into deep relaxation for your mind, the more mindful you can become. Mindfulness is one of the greatest powers we have as humans. With it we can truly change our own world and affect those around us from a present state of mind instead of reacting from some past story or hurt. Take some time, turn off all your devices, and give yourself five minutes to truly rest your brain. If thoughts come up, please no judgment. Ask them to leave or try one of the techniques I mentioned. It might take some practice to truly rest your mind, but you will quickly see the results.
You may ask, how do you relax your spirit? There are several ways to do this. But first notice if you feel tapped into your spirit or if you are running constantly. You are not the ego-ic voice shouting orders, commentary, and judgment all day. You are so much more than that and deserve that connection your spirit offers to peace and unconditional love. You can relax your spirit by relaxing your body and mind. You can relax your spirit by being in nature. You may relax your spirit by following your bliss and doing something that feels so in flow you might almost forget you are doing it. Writing and dance are like that for me. I can sometimes write a poem in 10 minutes, and it flows through me as it nourishes me. Get me dancing to music I love and the world disappears and I feel connected to all. Sitting in nature can also do this—listening to the birds, wind, and whatever other sounds come up. We all have activities that do this for us.
Take some time and ask yourself what relaxes your spirit. Take some time and relax your mind and body and see what that feels like. Inspiration and guidance often come when we are in this relaxed space. Your spirit is always there, connected to that resting space, that space in between. It is up to you to take the time and tune in to receive the benefits.
Resting is not just important; it is truly necessary during these times. It will help you—body, mind, and spirit to give yourself this permission to rest.
Please book some time just as you would an appointment and give yourself permission for this to become a regular occurrence. Do this every day for 5-10 minutes per day for seven days and notice the difference. Thank yourself for making this time for yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you right back!
Sending much love your way and wishing you much peace and rest!