Why Rest Is Important

The importance of rest is a subject I am well versed in.
Ask S.
He’ll tell you (much to his annoyance) that I’m a total champ when it comes to sleep.

Sidenote: S would say that technically that sentence should say that I “used to be” because throughout March I’ve been blogging everyday and haven’t been going to bed before 11:30pm. But hey. When a girls got a fulltime job, has food to eat, things to clean, friends to see; it’s sleep that takes a backstep.

After all, I can’t miss those self imposed deadlines which won’t really matter in ten years time now can I!

But hey. It matters now, so here I am at 11;43pm publishing a blog post about how rest is important. The irony is not lost on me.

ANYWAY.

I wasn’t always so good at resting.

Long term blog readers will know this because I wrote about how I burnt out (here and here if you’re curious), so I’m no stranger to burning the candle at both ends. But it’s never the metaphorical candle which burns out. It’s you, or in this case; me. So after booking a trip away and realising that not even the thought of an upcoming trip could snap me out of it, I knew that when I made my way out of the funk I was in; I needed to ensure that it never happened again.

Which is why, for the past few months, I’ve been working on things that make me truly happy and well rested. We all know that rest is important, but so often we ignore what our bodies constitute as rest. I’m determined not to feel the way I felt in September, so for the past few months I’ve focussed on listening to myself and not indulging in the things which make me sound cool, or that make others proud of me – but things that actually make me happy.

Things like; exploring, reading a book, cancelling plans to put on a face-mask and eat camembert using a garlic baguette. Things like writing, napping, going out dancing and leaving at 11pm because I don’t want to be around pushy drunk people, without needing to apologise to anyone for leaving early. Things like eating my body weight in mini eggs and writing a blogpost everyday for a month so I can finally get the stories I’ve been wanting to tell for months, down on internet paper. Things that make my soul happy.

Things that travelling, no matter how happy it makes me, can’t give me.

When I travel I like to immerse myself in the experience as much as I can. I like to go out and see new things, I don’t want to spend a few hours reading a book because those few hours could be spent seeing something that I may not get the opportunity to do again in the future. It’s the little things that constitute as self care and I could do these things whilst travelling, but to be honest I don’t want to. I know that rest is important regardless of where you are, but I only have a certain amount of time where I’m paid not to be at work, so I want to make the most of them!

But I’ve noticed that there’s an air of pressure on the internet about how you spend your free time. Like you should always be doing something. Like you need to always be busy because your life is jelly beans and you only have so many to spend. That after deducting beans for working, sleeping and eating there aren’t many jelly beans left so you need to do everything now because tomorrow isn’t promised.

And I get that. It’s not.
Each day that you’re alive is amazing because we are literally on a giant mass floating through space in an infinite universe. But it’s all about balance. You don’t need to be busy all the the time. What’s the point in doing something if you’re doing it just for the sake of doing it? There’s no enjoyment in that – and why would you spend your jelly beans on something that you don’t enjoy?

Take time to rest.
Rest is important.

Self care may not be newsworthy, but it’s damn well necessary.

There’s no need to feel guilty because so and so is doing something new every weekend. Find your balance, Find what works for you. Forget the self-imposed guilt. Everybody is different and we all need different things. For example; I’m learning that for me, there’s a time to travel, and there’s a time to rest. I like having time between trips to digest what I’ve experienced. It’s why I personally couldn’t backpack forever. From the stories I’ve read; there’s no rest period – and I bloody love my rest, especially when it’s in my own space. Because no matter how many nice hotels there are in the world, there will never be a bed that can compete against the feeling of your own. The feeling where you can snuggle in and cocoon yourself in your duvet, rest your head against the pillow that smells of home with the belongings that you choose to surround yourself with.

There seems to be such an obsession with being busy that we’re forgetting to pamper ourselves. To take care of, or feel joy in, the little things. The joy that getting your hair done by your favourite hairdresser brings. The joy of a bubble bath (especially if you live in a house with a shower). The joy of a good book or a bad movie. Rest doesn’t have to mean sleep. The definition of rest is to “cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength”. So do the things that help you recharge. Have a bath, slap on a face mask, read your favourite book or magazine. Lay down and listen to music. Play your favourite computer game. Take a walk. Go on a bike ride. Take a nap. Take two naps if you want. Wasting time is never time wasted.

Do whatever it is that makes you happy.
Just remember to rest, because rest is important and the obsession so many have with being busy?
It’s not.

Editor’s note:
My laptop took three hours to do a software update and I have stayed awake past my bedtime (on a work day wahh) to publish this post. The irony of writing about why rest is important, when I’ve just stayed up until the early hours to publish it, is not lost on me. I just couldn’t deal with failing my blog everyday challenge halfway through the month because of stupid technology. So here I am. Or technically, here I was. Because I am SO going to bed now.