The Importance of Rest

Submitted by Rebekka Jay, VP of Membership

We usually categorize rest as sleeping or taking a nap. Merriam Webster defines rest as “to be free from anxiety or disturbance” or “freedom from activity or labor.” While I agree with both of these definitions, I feel so many of us forget the first. Rest doesn’t just mean sleeping, it also means taking care of yourself and giving yourself time to calm down, collect yourself, and let the weights off your shoulders. It’s okay to have expectations and goals and work hard to meet both of these, but during the meantime, we can’t forget to still be kids once in a while. Someone recently told me “It’s okay to be a kid too sometimes. You deserve grace from me, from others, and from yourself.” I don’t think I will ever forget this, because it was something I had forgotten. Even as an adult, the mental side of rest is still so important, we all need it.

I am someone who definitely likes their sleep. I like sleeping at night, I take naps when I have the time, and I think sleep is very important, especially with me being an athlete and being very active. Sleep provides great rest for your physical body and allows your body to have time to heal. While the physical body may be healing, it doesn’t mean our mental state is healing though. Rest for our mental state can look similar to rest for our physical body, but can also be very different, and it changes from person to person. Some people like listening to music, some like reading, some like exercising, others like reading or taking a walk. For some people it is sleeping. Any of these are perfectly acceptable. I use a combination of these, I like to find a quiet place with lots of natural light, and read a book of my choice. I am able to block out distractions and shut down my mind, only allowing myself to concentrate on the pages in front of me. When I am done reading or find a good stopping point, I feel refreshed and have more motivation and energy to go finish tasks. 

I have seen as I get older, the less time I have to read. I used to be one of the kids that would take books everywhere. I would have anywhere between two and six books in my backpack at all times. I would take my books to the playground and read during recess. I did all of the reading things, because it was something I loved to do. But now, I don’t always get a lot of time during my week to do this. Tasks build up and time seems to get cut in half with every new year. Although we may feel like we have no time during the week or even every other week, it is so important to find time to quiet our minds and let ourselves have a break, even if it’s a small one. We all need that refreshing feeling here and there. And if you don’t know what allows yourself to quiet your mind, start trying different activities or methods until you find what best suits you. The life you are living is yours, so treat yourself kindly.