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The Art Of Rest: Why is rest important

What is Rest?

Rest is something that we all need to do periodically. Rest improves our mood, enhances our metabolism, calms our mind, and reduces stress, at the same time improving our concentration and mental health. Not all of us will admit, but we do get tired, of the incessant responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by us. As a result, we ignore ourselves and our physical and mental wellness.

The book “The Art of Rest”, “draws on ground-breaking research that the author Claudia Hammond collaborated on – “The rest test” – The largest global survey into rest ever undertaken, which was completed by 18,000 people across 135 different countries”. And, as the survey revealed, how much rest you get is directly linked to your sense of well-being.” Wow, something to ponder about, I reckon.

She cites that rest is how we “unwind, calm our minds and recharge our bodies”, which is so very true. Rest refreshes us, charges our batteries, helps us focus better, so we feel more active/alert and ready to take on the various challenges that life throws at us.

"Rest is not a sign of weakness; it is a gentle whisper to remind us to nurture our well-being and balance our lives."

7 Types of Rest: Rejuvenate Your Body, Mind, and Soul

Did you know there are various types of rest? Yes, it’s true.

1. Physical rest: This is when we put up our feet to relax, unwind, and rest our bodies. We can nap or visit a spa for a pampering massage read a book or listen to music and forget everything else. Physical rest relaxes our body and assists in the healing process and reducing fatigue.

2. Mental rest: This is when we take a break from thinking and rest our minds. Meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, and digital detox help us relax mentally. Mental rest makes us calmer and more alert to focus and be more productive.

3. Emotional rest: This is when we take a break from the emotional demands in our lives. Making time for ourselves, avoiding stress, indulging in self-care, Journaling, walking, and spending time in nature are some of the ways we can rest emotionally. This gives us time to sort out our feelings and become emotionally strong.


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4. Sensory rest: This is when a break from the sensory agents that we are constantly facing in our lives. Closing our eyes, listening to music, taking a nice bath, spending quiet time alone, no TV, and deep breathing are some ways to rest our senses. Sensory rest helps us recover from the constant exposure to sensory agents and reduces our stress.
5. Creative rest: This is when we take a break from the constant creative demands that we face in our lives daily. Taking a break from work, learning a new hobby, and enjoying our creative pursuits are good ways to creatively rest. Creative rest inspires and motivates us for new ideas.

6. Social rest: This is when we take a break from the social activities that take up our day. Introverts find socialising very taxing. Making time for ourselves, avoiding social activities fora while, spending quality time with family and close friends, taking a walk/ hike/ bike ride, going for a lunch or coffee date alone, reading, and indulging in self-care are some ways to rest socially. Social rest gives us time to recharge and energise ourselves and avoid burnout.

7. Spiritual rest: This is when we take a break from the spiritual activities that we normally face in our lives. Prayer, chanting, meditation, yoga, spending time with nature, volunteering with social causes, helping others, are some ways to spiritually rest. This helps us to connect with our inner self and find true meaning of life, as well as keeping us grounded.

Inner Peace: The Calming Influence of Spiritual Practices

Practising spirituality is also relaxing. Chanting hymns or prayers has a calming effect on us.  We feel positive vibrations when we visit a holy place. In times of stress, when we feel there is no way out, prayer helps! Light a  lamp(diya) in your home temple/candle in the Church and pray for a solution to the problem you are facing. You will soon get a sign that will show you the right way and the solution you were searching for. We can introspect about our lives and learn how to improve our way of living and find the true meaning of our existence.

The Unavoidable Importance of Prioritizing ‘Me-Time’

The key ingredient here is to make time for yourself. Generally, we put off taking our ‘me-time’ on some pretext or the other. How many times have you told yourself “its ok, I can also relax later”, but the “later” doesn’t come ? Mind you, this putting off till “later” can lead to harmful consequences. Increased blood pressure, palpitations, indigestion, insomnia, aches and pains, are all waiting for you with open arms.

If you choose to neglect your physical and mental wellness, by running around, and managing your responsibilities, without a thought of the repercussions it will take on your health, you are mistaken. Even machines need periodic servicing, we are but mere mortals. Just relax, you are a human being like others and you also deserve to look after yourself like you take care of your family and your moral, social and spiritual responsibilities.

Fulfilling Responsibilities with Vigor and Tranquility

After all, if you are healthy, then you will be able to fulfil your responsibilities to the fullest. A fresher you will be able to focus better. An alert-er you will be able to axe that tough presentation in a jiffy. A calmer you will be able to know yourself better and evolve spiritually and emotionally.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace brings with a relaxed body.”

Crafting a Balanced Life: Prioritizing Self-Care in 2024

Identify the type of rest you require at a given point in time and schedule your day to incorporate rest as and when required. Take a break when you feel that your mind or body is tired. Learn to say ‘no’ and not undertake additional responsibilities that you cannot fulfill. Ask for assistance, as and when required. Do not feel shy to display your emotions. Do not feel guilty about prioritizing yourself. Do not put off your ‘me-time’.

Make rest a habit. Take short walks or take a few minutes to exercise/deep breathing. Just stop what you are doing, take a couple of minutes, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Take off your glasses, shut the computer program you are working on, sit back, and relax for a few minutes. Say nothing, do nothing, and think nothing for those few minutes. Take a short break, get up, and walk around the room a couple of times.

New Year Resolutions

In this new year 2024, it has been reported in many articles, that people are resolving to take better care of themselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The emphasis on inner growth and self-awareness is commendable. Many such retreats offer this holistic package where one can, in the lap of nature, embark on a journey of rejuvenation, rest, relaxation and self-introspection, without any social media or digital distractions.

Healing Power of Natural Serenity

Nature is a great healer. Spending time sitting under a tree/in a park/garden/beach, is so soothing. Listening to the birds, watching the swaying leaves, and seeing the waves lapping the coast, is magical. Without any thought or tension, just being alive and living that moment is an awesome experience. We all need to try it. It is as if nature is beckoning us, to explore her, with open arms. Just connect with nature and see the wonders it does. The calmness you will feel is priceless.

So whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, just pause, rest and watch the world go by.

“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us”Maya

Rupal Sonpal

Ms. Rupal Sonpal

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