I am the worlds worst to be giving this advice!
I have such a hard time resting! It’s not in my nature to take time off or even find time to get that 8 hours of sleep!
I think I must feel like I may be missing out on something!
I tend to be that person who burns the candle at both ends of the candle stick!
BUT- I am learning! Slowly!
What is Rest?
The definition of rest is-
Rest (Verb). cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
Rest (Noun), an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
Rest is taking time to not work, to not workout, taking time to do self-care(which I’ll talk about in a bit) but also to sleep, chill out, get away from your daily schedule and find down time! As well as taking a vacation!
Some people may find it restful to lounge beside the pool, go to the movies or just hang at home with family and friends!
Now that we’ve figured out just what rest is, let’s discuss the why you should rest!
Why You Should Rest-
God made our bodies to withstand a lot. From sleepless nights from a new baby or the soldier who serves under extreme stress, the body has coping mechanisms.
God did say to take a Sabbath day, a day of rest that we could focus on Him!
A Day of Rest!
If God did it, it surely is good enough for us to do!
Again, the body can take a lot. But in this world today, I think there are stressors that perhaps they didn’t have back during Bible times.
We have pesticides that are used on our foods, Our food is less nutritious, we have modern technology, where we are always connected, we know what is going on around the world 24/7. We are under constant stress it seems.
We have work, busy families, aging parents and illnesses that can keep us busy, busy, busy!!
All of these things can wear us down, cause burnout and over whelm us to where we may have no choice but to rest.
Like I said the body can take a lot but there are times when stress can cause illnesses.
This is when we need to rest! It might even be just to sit down and put your feet up while enjoying your favorite tv show! You may even need to get away for a couple days and have a change of pace! It could also be making yourself go to bed early and get some extra sleep!
Remember the body can only function for so long under super stressful times before our health can be compromised! This is why rest is so important!
What Can Prevent Us from Resting-
We hear a lot of buzz about cortisol, but there is also two other stress hormones-adrenaline and norepinephrine.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. Your body naturally has a higher level of cortisol in the early part of the day. This is to help you be more alert and aware of your surroundings. So a good thing! But when we go through hard times,deal with worry and anxiety, extreme stress, illness and even the death of a loved one it can cause the adrenals to go haywire and over produce cortisol. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, increase the blood pressure and sugar and contribute to obesity. You can also suffer from low cortisol as well. That is often after prolonged overproduction and the adrenals just burn out!
Adrenaline is commonly known as the flight or fight hormone. It is also produced by the adrenals. This is one of the hormones responsible for immediate reactions to feeling stressed. A good example is when you are almost in a wreck. Your heart is pounding, you a quick to respond and you can feel your muscles are tense. That is caused by adrenaline.
Norepinephrine is very similar to adrenaline. It also is released by the adrenal glands as well as the brain. It’s primary role is to make you more aware, awake and focused. It also can help shift blood flow from areas of the body where it isn’t crucial. Like your skin but it may flood the muscles that you would need to use.
Both adrenaline and norepinephrine are your back up stress hormones to cortisol.
When these stress hormones go wild after long term activation, it will cause an overexposure of the stress hormones which can cause:
Memory and concentration impairment
What Can You Do?
Well, the simple solution is chill out.
Which most of the time is easier said than done!
We really have to make a concentrated effort to work toward calming the mind and the body. For a lot of us rest does not happen naturally!
The easiest way to start is by doing deep breathing. Breathe in the nose for the count of four and then exhale through the nose for four counts. Try to start out by sitting and doing this for 5-10 min. Then progress up to 20-30 minutes.
Another easy way is to take a hatha, restorative or yin yoga. These are slower, concentrate on the breathing and are often helpful in trying to rest. If you are a type A personality(aka-me) Yin and restorative yoga might a little tough! You hold the poses for a longer period of time. If you find yourself being irritated by classes like this then start with Hatha. You may also find Pilates relaxing, as it is slower as well.
Walking, hiking and bicycling at a slower pace can also be good to help relieve stress. Especially if you can get outside and in nature! Being active will boost your feel good endorphins that boost your mood and give you energy!
The key is to find something that will help you rest and you enjoy it!
Some other things to try are massage(if you’re local I know a great gal!!!) and ask for a Swedish or restorative massage. If you tend to carry a lot of tension in the shoulders you may want to ask them to concentrate on that area! You can also try warm or hot baths with Epsom salts. The magnesium will help greatly with stress!
There are a lot of people who drink herbal tea to help calm the body. I have a favorite one called “Tension Tamer” by Celestrial Seasonings. It tastes so good and really does help!
You can also use essential oils. Lavender, wild orange, doTERRA’s Serenity , Console and Peace are all very helpful with stress! You can diffuse or apply topically to the body!
Prayer can also be very helpful. I find in times of stress and anxiety that relying on my relationship with Christ gives me a greater hope and peace. If you aren’t sure about this feel free to message me and I will tell you how to have a personal relationship with Him!
You may want to also take the time to investigate what exactly is causing you the stress you are dealing with!
This could take some time and patience on your part!
Just remember not all stress is bad, but an over abundance of stress can cause health issues and illnesses.
You need to trap that stress animal before it causes major trouble in your life and health!
How do you deal with stress?
Have you suffered through a time when stress overwhelmed and took over your life?
Leave me your thoughts and suggestions on the blog!