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Finding Space for Rest

 

We live in the the fight or flight sympathetic side of our nervous system, which can make it difficult to find rest. Our “monkey brain,” or that part of your brain that thinks and connects with the world, is very active, which means we have to be intentional to find the space and time to slow down and recharge.

Here is the truth: You don’t have to earn rest, you deserve it! It’s time to shift your thinking and treat yourself like you would your best friend. How would you encourage them to take space/create time or space to rest?

Finding rest for yourself probably will require boundaries and communicating with other household members. Be prepared to give specific requests so you can do something just for yourself this week.

 

Tips for Finding Rest

 

1. Take a nap. If you have the time and space, even 15 minutes of resting on your side can do wonders for the body and mind to recharge and re-center. 

2. Get quiet. If you have little people, or pets, or a partner that could use some cuddling and care, creating a few minutes of quiet with them can do wonders for reconnecting with them, and resting your mind. 

3. Get out into nature. There is nothing quite like spending time in nature to recharge the spirit. Take a walk. Sit on the back porch. Take a moment to be around old trees, fresh grass, and water. 

4. Wear headphones. Sometimes it can feel impossible to get alone time, or time away from responsibilities. I love putting on my headphones and listening to nature sounds, or my favorite calming music. Anything that slows down my nervous system and helps me reconnect with my heart. 

5. Move your body intentionally. Yoga, mindful movement, or finding a favorite rest position on the mat can do wonders to refocus the mind chatter and intentionally moderate breath to a rhythm that brings your nervous system into a more relaxed state. 

How We Rest

There is no “right” way to rest. For some of us, naps can leave us feeling drained instead of rested. Some hobbies that are calming for others can make us anxious or distracted. Everybody finds rest differently and it is important to discover what works for your body and mind.

Consider these questions:

  • What does rest look like to me?
  • How often do I rest?
  • What are some tangible ways that I can create space to rest?

What are some of the things we find restful?

  • Spending time with pets
  • Reading, especially on the beach
  • Audio books while doing tasks such as laundry
  • Playing games for a break from current reality
  • Exercising outdoors
  • Time spent alone
  • Taking breaks during the work day

 

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