3 Reasons Why Rest Is Your New Superpower

My son who is studying further maths at A-Level came to me and said was stuck on a particular equation. I unfortunately was of no use to him because maths hurts my head. So I told him to take a break and do something unrelated like watch a movie and come back to it later. […]

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My son who is studying further maths at A-Level came to me and said was stuck on a particular equation. I unfortunately was of no use to him because maths hurts my head. So I told him to take a break and do something unrelated like watch a movie and come back to it later. He told me the next day that halfway through watching the movie, an idea popped into his head about how to solve the equation so he went back to it and he was able to solve it. When Einstein said: ‘Play is the highest form of research’ he knew what he was talking about.

Taking time out to rest or play is really your superpower and let me give you at least 3 reasons why. 

  1. It helps you stop physical and emotional damage from being on the go all the time
  2. Repair what is already damaged 
  3. Brings about expansion and creativity

Not long ago, lunch was for wimps and indeed in some industries, it still is. The longer and harder you work the more you are applauded. People wear their ‘busyness’ as a status symbol. Busy people are seen as important people so people buy into the madness and before they know it, they are burnt out.

Not building rest into your life is a crazy way to live. Smart people know that you perform better after a break. You come back clearer headed and don’t feel half as overwhelmed. In fact in sports, rest forms part of the training discipline. It is called periodisation which is the work to rest ratio and it is used for building endurance. If you want sustainability, rest is not optional.

Stop the Damage

Being busy all the time stresses you out. Stress depresses your immune system as this research of 30 years shows. If your immune system is compromised you open yourself to getting sick. You cannot afford to make yourself sick just so you can appear important. This is total madness and it needs to be stopped now. You need to halt the damage to your health by learning how to rest and play.

When it comes to stopping the damage, doing a restful activity is all it takes. I am sure you heard the expression:

Change is as good as a rest – Stephen King

The sad fact is that some people are addicted to being busy so taking time off just to chill out triggers anxiety so for those people, just doing some restorative activity is enough to get them to begin to feel relaxed. Taking time out with your family, taking walks in nature or time out by yourself just to press the pause button is a good start.

Repair

Stopping the damage is not enough though, you need to repair the damage. If you are frazzled from years of a high octane life to the point where you are a nervous wreck, you need to bring out big guns. Going cycling with your mates, as great as it is, will not cut it. You really need to down tools of any sort and allow someone to take care of you.

This is where you need rejuvenating things like a massage, sauna, any spa treatment or pottering around your house with no demands on you except to take it easy, eat good food and just generally chill out.

Think about repair as things you do when you are ill and on your way back to health. During those times, you don’t take on any stressful activity, you take it easy because you understand that you are recovering. That is the difference between repair and restful activity. 

Rejuvenate

Now we are onto healing. This is what happens when you actually sleep. Yes, sleep is a healing form of rest and there are no other ways around it apart from to actually sleep. Not just sleep either but to go to bed at the right time and to sleep for long enough to allow the healing processes to actually take place.

Sleep does a lot of things but it helps to rebuild the body, helps you process your emotions and memories and it helps with your creativity and focus.

Tell me, what other tool do you know of that helps to boost your immune system, rebuild your body, gives you mental clarity and keeps you performing at your peak? Nothing else springs to mind that is why rest is really your superpower. If you are smart, which I know you are, you will prioritise it.

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