Rest - friend or foe?
All the time, students talk to me about how exhausted they are and how no matter how hard they try to get caught up on sleep, rarely do they feel rested.
"All I want to do is nap, and after I nap I feel groggier."
"I know I need to just push through and work harder, but I'm unable to maintain the energy that I used to have and I feel old before my time."
"I'm too busy to take a break, if I stop I'll collapse"
The human system (and how we react to life's demands) is far more complex than a light switch operating between two extremes of on and off. This article - The 7 types of rest that every person needs - came across my radar recently and in it, Saundra Dalton-Smith MD author of the Book Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, delves into how rest is as multi-faceted as the human experience.
The need for physical rest is often obvious, but we ignore the signals. Mental fatigue can quickly lead to overwhelm and burnout. Most of us are spending more and more time in front of screens, and we are struggling to acclimate to intense sensory input while trying to ignore how it makes us feel. Certain relationships and social dynamics can be draining and more often than not we disregard our limits, don't step away or prioritize time for ourselves.
It can take practice to listen to the feedback your body is giving you, and can be even harder to break the habit of overworking, overthinking, overstimulating etc., but it's reassuring to see it reaffirmed here. Taking breaks, allows us to recharge, so that we can meet life more fully, more present and willing to face what comes at us. So take this as permission, if you need to hear it.
And before you move on to the next thing, take a moment for yourself to feel your breath move, and see something beyond your screen, and if you can right now, try giving yourself a 3 minute break.
...and let me know how it goes!