And why the heck you oughta!
With this last long holiday weekend just finished, I felt a special calm and quiet happening out there in the world, did you? Freeways weren’t crowded, weather was so hot that people were either at the beach or inside keeping cool. All and all it felt like a time for folks to take a deep breath and step away from the normal day-to-day grind! It reminded me that in all pieces of great music, there are rests of a beat or two that fall at the end of phrases and sections to make the song flow correctly. Where in life do we have Rest Signs? Sometimes we must make ‘em or take ‘em!
The watch out is for all the potential (or actual) workaholics, who can’t seem to take a rest. They’re typically either a wee bit compulsive, or, programmed in such a way that they feel guilty taking personal time, and so tend to always be in completion mode.
Personally, I know this pattern well because I’m a high achiever. However, just last week I was given both a reminder and a whole new perspective on the importance of resting from time to time. I was in for some physical therapy (recovering from an ankle fracture), and my PT Doc explained why it’s important to rest between sets of reps when working on strengthening a specific muscle group. Resting between sets allows for certain chemicals to re-enter the muscles, replenishing the fuel for energy. He said that if I kept on working a muscle all the way to 30 reps with no rest at 15, it would be hard to finish all 30 because that muscle is exhausted and has no energy. Fifteen reps and then a minute or two rest before repeating? No problem! I tried out his theory, and found, boy, he was spot on!
What a great metaphor for life, I thought. Knowing when to take that rest period in our life is critical to keeping our energy and endurance up over both the long and short haul. Notice how recharged we’ll tend to be after an extended weekend like we’ve just had!
A couple of fine points on this. First, taking a rest period doesn’t mean you do absolutely nothing. It could be you use some of that time to work on a hobby, do some gardening, wax your favorite car, re-arrange your closet a bit – little projects you’ve been desiring to get to which give you pleasure. Not a great time to initiate something large and new, however. Take a long breath instead and wait till you’ve recharged your battery.
Secondly, remember that sleep is not a waste of time! Often times I’ll hear of folks who use these long weekends to catch up on their shut-eye. More and more research has proven the restorative nature of deep sleep. Our bodies are incredible healing machines, but not when we’re on the go all the time. Allowing yourself some extra sleep time occasionally is good for all parts of you. Don’t think of it as being lazy! Rather, you’re resting and renewing! When it’s time to go back to work, you’ll be stronger than ever!
And now that I’ve finished this entire post, time for a little nap . . .
© 2018 Marie Moran