Our daily lives can get really busy, can’t they? It’s likely we each have lots of things we try to juggle in any given day—relationships, family, kids, work, school, fitness, meal prep and more. Because of this, you may feel like you always need to be on the go. You might also wonder how you’ll fit everything in.
Why is rest important?
As the holidays draw closer, the hustle can get even more intense. With the COVID-19 pandemic adding to our stress levels this year, it’s more important than ever to build in some time to rest.
Why? Your body and mind need rest to function at their best. Getting enough sleep helps your body recharge, lets your muscles rebuild, gives your mind a break and can improve your overall mood. It can also help you feel more alert, help with learning and concentration, boost your memory retention and help you ward off illness. There are a lot of reasons to understand the importance of rest days!
How to slow down
Taking time for rest isn’t just about getting more sleep. Here are some other ways you can “recharge your battery” and enjoy the benefits of rest, even with a busy schedule:
- Curl up with a book. Diving into the pages of a good story may provide you a nice escape. It can also quickly help you calm down. While your brain focuses on reading, your heart rate slows a bit and your muscles start to relax. Making reading a regular habit can even improve your concentration skills. Short on time? Flipping through a magazine or newspaper, or perusing some articles online (like this one!) can do the trick, too.
- Take a bath. What’s more relaxing than a nice bubble bath? If you feel stress starting to creep in on you, try starting or ending your day with a hot bath. Adding some essential oils or Epsom salts to the water in scents such as lavender, rose or mint can have an additional de-stressing effect and help you reap some extra benefits of rest.
- Have a cup of tea. Sipping some hot tea (or any hot drink) is a great way to relax your body and mind. Herbal blends like chamomile, lavender, lemon or peppermint also have some added health benefits. They can help boost your immune system, aid digestion, and even help you get a better night’s sleep. What a welcome relief when you’re wondering how to slow down!
- Try some meditation or yoga. Deep breathing exercises, such as those used in meditation and yoga, will help you learn to slow down and relax. They can also help alleviate stressors from your mind and body. To get started, try a couple simple yoga stretches during your day. If you have more time, you can go for a longer workout or try an online yoga class.
- Go for an easy walk. Taking a light-hearted stroll around your neighborhood can be a welcome break from your tougher workouts. It’s also a good mood-booster and may keep any anxiety you’re feeling at bay. Getting out in the fresh air and doing a little meandering can ease your mind, while giving your body a little break too. Just a quick 20- or 30-minute walk can have lasting benefits.
Benefits of rest
During busy times, like the holiday season, it’s important to make time for yourself and give yourself a break. When things in your life start to pile up, you can try incorporating one or a few of the tips above to avoid getting caught up in the daily grind, and wearing yourself down. Making time for rest will help you feel happier and healthier in the long run—so take it easy, and rest up!
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.