It’s 6:00, the alarm goes off, and you leap to your feet. You want to sleep a little longer, but you know you’re already late. So quickly shower, coffee,… breakfast? What is breakfast? Never mind, you’ll eat something later. You dress yourself and your children in a hurry. Why are they doing everything so slowly? They’ll kill you at work if you run late one more time. In addition, at 11:00 you have an important meeting that you need to prepare for. You jump in the car, turn on the radio and get stuck in traffic jams. You feel the steam pounding with your ears. You look at your watch, it’s 7:30. Until the end of the day, about… 15 hours left.
After a day full of challenges, you come home in the same (or maybe even bigger) traffic jams. In a hurry, you clean, cook, train and take care of the children. And in the evening you finally have a dream moment for yourself. You fall in front of the TV or computer, and there you are flooded with news, news and messages. And it would seem that you are resting.
In fact, your head and body are still working at full capacity. And there would be nothing extraordinary about it, if it were not for the fact that we all (without exception) need rest!
Why do we need rest?
We live very quickly, in a culture where efficiency and multitasking count. We divide our time between work, training, passions, family life and rest. In the multitude of duties, goals to achieve and tasks to be performed, it is often difficult for us to find time for ourselves. We often do not allow ourselves a moment of break, it is difficult for us to relax and just be.
Our brain, which processes enormous amounts of information every day, is constantly on standby, which means that our body is also on standby. In times of stress, the body tenses, automatically triggering one of its most primal responses – fight or flight. In this way, the body tries to cope with the situation that has arisen. A number of processes take place in the body and the adrenal glands start producing stress hormones, including cortisol. We are mobilized to act. Evolutionarily, as soon as the “threat” is gone, the body should return to a relaxed state. It used to be like that, but nowadays we are flooded with loads of stimuli that the body reads as threatening or stressful. So our body remains mobilized for weeks or even months.
Imagine you clench your hand into a fist for a day, two, a week. It will be difficult, if not impossible. The muscles will get tired quickly. The body strained in this way also begins to tire over time. If we do not respond to the dose of stimulation with a dose of relaxation, the body will start to “burn out”. As a consequence, it may lead to the emergence of various diseases or illnesses – the excerpt comes from the text “relaxation training”).
We live very quickly, in a culture where efficiency and multitasking count. We divide our time between work, training, passions, family life and rest. In the multitude of duties, goals to achieve and tasks to be performed, it is often difficult for us to find time for ourselves.
Resting has a colossal effect on your health. The habit of resting makes us better cope with the stress that we deal with every day. Unfortunately, it is one of the most neglected spheres of life. We are used to doing so many things, most of them at the expense of resting, sleeping, or eating. All this consequently affects our health and well-being.
Over the years we have been taught that it is not proper to rest. Only a man who works hard is worth something that you have to work a lot, beyond your strength, no matter what. Who saw it, that the good lady of the house would lie on the couch and read a book?
“I can’t afford to rest”
The life of many of us is a constant pursuit. There is no time to relax or be alone. We don’t have time for ourselves, and that is the whole problem. Like mantras, we repeat “I have no time for myself”, “I have so much work, I cannot”, “I cannot afford to rest”, “I will rest when I do everything I have to do”, “I have children, I do not have time for yourself ”or“ rest is a waste of time ”. Over the years we have been taught that it is not proper to rest. Only a man who works hard is worth something that you have to work a lot, beyond your strength, no matter what. Who saw it, that the good lady of the house would lie on the couch and read a book? And the laundry is left unwashed and the windows unwashed… Rest is just as important as work. There is time and place for everything, if we plan it well. And the key word is balance!
Get started now!
Make daily relaxation as important to you as sleep, diet and exercise. First, take one small step.
# 1 Set aside 15 minutes just for yourself each day. Sounds cliche? Cool! Add 15 minutes of relaxation to your daily schedule. Little things usually do great results. You will notice a huge difference in your life very quickly.
# 2 Consciously plan your rest. Will it be morning or evening? At home, in the city or outside? Planning is necessary at the beginning, if you do not plan it, you will definitely spend this time on something “more important” or something that just comes out!
# 3 Make this time your “pleasure” time. Yes, “your pleasure.” Perhaps this is the first time you hear this term, perhaps until now everything you did or did was for someone. Now it’s time to do something for yourself! 15 minutes a day for your pleasure.
# 4 Put away your phone, tablet, computer, get away from the TV. Contrary to popular belief, they do not help us to rest (more on that another time).
# 5 And let go of the guilt that you are wasting time or lazing about, or that you would have to do so many other useful things during this time. Rest is one of the most useful things you can do each day for yourself, your health and your mental well-being.
* The article was written after reading the book “4 Pillars of a Healthy Life” – Dr. Rangan Chatterjee.