I won’t rest until I finish that budget… I won’t rest until I have that application approved…
In our culture, we have started to see rest as a reward for hard work. That, or we see it as something done by the lazy people who don’t want to simply say that they are doing nothing!
What we are missing though is that rest can help us work more productively; we can work smarter if we pause working every so often. When we are well-rested, our bodies and mind get to reset and we are more productive as a result.
It’s no coincidence that the word rest is included in reset. We have to rest to reset. To reset back to our initial state, removing all the stress and negative thoughts, we need to give ourselves that space.
At Stress Matters, we believe in something called the Be:Do Approach. Think of it as work-life balance 2.0. The approach involves breaking our time down by when we are spending time ‘Being’ and when we are ‘Doing’. Every person’s version of how they are being and what they consider themselves to be doing is different, but predominantly we find ourselves doing more than being.
In the current situation, it has never been clearer that there is a merging of boundaries the two. For #eventprofs, we tend to be a passionate group of people that love our work and are expected to work irregular hours. As such, we may be really happy doing lots of things and taking on many tasks.
But that’s OK. Our being and doing don’t need to be equal, we just need to find the value from both equally and take them both as seriously as the other.
So, what can you do to be more when you find yourself doing a lot? When it comes to rest, there are so many options as to what you can do and it’s about finding what works for you. Some ideas for you to try are:
- A walk in nature, without an intention or goal
- Take a few conscious breaths, during which you focus on the inhale and exhale or the space between breaths.
- Reading a book
- Write in a journal, thinking about what is worrying you and what you are grateful for.
- Listen to the sounds around you, the hum of a radiator, the sound of birds
We try to push ourselves to the maximum, especially in times of crisis. We think that the harder we work, the more chance of success we are giving ourselves. If you have ever done any regular exercise, or know any athletic types, you will know how important rest days are and how it’s important to mix up what muscle groups you work as fatigue and injury can occur. It’s the same with our brains, we need to mix up what muscles we are using and make sure we rest them to reset and build strength.
The spiritual benefits of resting are also profound. When you start to slow down and listen to your breath, listen to your body, listen to your thoughts, you can actually begin to hear your own wisdom, problems start to be solved, connections start to get made.
Resting is more than just sitting down and doing nothing. It’s giving ourselves time to simply be in the moment.
This blog was written by Laura Capell-Abra, founder of Stress Matters, as part of a series ahead of hers and James Hitchen‘s webinar. They will be looking at what you can do to improve your mental health at work, rest & play.
You can watch the webinar on-demand here.