The importance of rest
We all know how hard it is sometimes to just stop and do nothing, to forget about daily routines and responsibilities and give ourselves the break we need and deserve. It is a scary thought, doing nothing, but taking a moment in your life to rest could do wonders. If you are like me, super type A, you feel you need to always be go go go. Even on days when I am feeling especially tired or run down I still have the urge to just do everything. I generally am pretty healthy but about once a year I get hit with a nasty cold or sinus infection. Funny enough the last time I had a bad sinus infection was last Thanksgiving. Since I am a creature of habit, of course I would also get one this Thanksgiving.
I woke up Thursday morning feeling a little stuffy. Thinking it was just the change of weather since I had gone from LA to Michigan, I went and worked out and helped all day in the kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving feast. When I woke up Friday morning I didn’t feel better but instead of taking that as a sign to slow down I did what I usually do. I got up, went and worked out and continued with the daily activities we had planned.
Saturday was a very important day. Derek was taking me to his alma mater for the big Michigan Ohio State football game. Nothing was going to stop me from going, not even the worsening sinus pressure that was building in my head. I spent the day Saturday standing out in the cold, cheering on the Wolverines who sadly did not win. I knew this wasn’t the best decision but I had made a promise to my husband and I couldn’t let him down. Now we get to Sunday morning and I wake up feeling like absolute crap. I am extremely tired, stuffed up, and just overall run down. The first thought that goes through my mind is what yoga class can I make? I then have an internal battle with myself about if I go or stay in bed. Why is it so hard to take a day off? My body is clearly begging me to rest yet my mind is telling me to go.
After getting up and realizing how tired I was just from washing my face and brushing my teeth I forced myself to get back into bed.
Every hour my apple watch would vibrate, time to stand up. It would vibrate to alert me that one of my sisters had completed a workout and that would send my mind into over drive. Why is it so hard for us to do nothing?
My body needed rest, I knew it was the best thing to do yet my mind was having such a hard time with it. I did a long meditation to try and calm my mind and told myself there is nothing wrong with self-care, there is nothing wrong with slowing down. We live in a society that is so turbo and we are constantly seeing what everyone else is doing that it can be hard to give ourselves the rest we need. What we forget is that sometimes rest and slowing down is EXACTLY the best thing for us. Our bodies use this time of rest to repair themselves and recover. Our minds need a break from constantly checking our to do list. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a sick day. I was browsing my computer from the couch and an add came up for children’s Tylenol and it said “don’t let a cold keep kids from being kids.” Our society is marketing to parents to keep their kids going. No wonder it is so hard to rest. It is engrained in our heads from a very early age to be tough, to keep going. Being sick and needing rest has nothing to do with being tough and everything to do with being smart. Being smart and listening to what your body needs.
Even though I didn't spend the day doing what I typically do it was still a great day. I got to lay around and play games with my husband and in-laws. I got to listen to their deep discussions as I lay half asleep on the couch. I got to be present with the people around me.
To all my fellow type A, on the go humans out there I hope you give yourself the time you deserve. Take a day to lay on the couch with some tea and a good book. Have a day where the only activity you do is a slow walk outside. Be okay with doing nothing, it won’t kill you, if anything it will make you stronger.