• Rest is Not a 4 Letter Word

    Chronic pain and fatigueDo you get enough rest? I don’t mean sleep; I mean rest. They are two different things as far as your body is concerned. You see, the body has 3 “modes” of operation; work, rest, and sleep, and it needs to engage in all 3 on a daily basis in order to be healthy. Most of us give our bodies more than enough work, and we give it some sleep; but rarely do we give it any rest.

    So, what do I mean by rest? Well, You can think of rest as wind down time at the end of the day or as a break in the middle of a day. It’s a time where you aren’t trying to accomplish anything; you’re just enjoying the moment(s). It’s a time of relaxation and pleasure; a time to appreciate whatever you have or whatever you’re doing. Some people advocate not doing anything during this time, but I feel that’s unrealistic in our driven, multi-task-or-die culture. For me, the key is two-fold: 1. Don’t multi-task and 2. don’t pick an activity that you feel needs to be done. So, pick one activity and just do that; and make sure that it’s an activity you’ll be able to set down even if it’s not “finished.” If it’s evening you should lower the lighting level as well to help remind the body that it’s time to wind down before bed.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • listen to relaxing music… and just appreciate it
    • read a book or magazine for pleasure (not simply because you need to catch up)
    • take a bath… and just enjoy the warm water and the quiet. A few candles &/or a cup of tea or glass of juice is a nice way to enhance your enjoyment
    • do some star gazing or moon watching (it has been especially beautiful these last few nights)
    • snuggle with a loved one… no conversation, just comforting snuggles (well, some “I love you” and “Ahhh, this is soooo nice” type conversation is ok)
    • avoid anything technology related; the light and frequency induce exciting, rather than relaxing, brain activity.

    I would love for you to add to this list of restful “activities” in the comments below!

    It might feel strange, even lazy, to be “doing nothing” but your body and mind will thank you once they get used to it. You’ll sleep better and have more energy during the day as a result. Rest well.

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