Over 50% of stress experienced by a study of UK individuals in 2020 has been work and/or financially related. With the current health emergency we are facing, it’s no wonder that anxiety levels have increased as a result of the uncertainty. We may have become more aware of the importance of slowing down amidst Zoom meetings and To-do lists but how much are we really walking the talk?
Keeping busy is a coping mechanism for many and rightly so, it’s the perfect distraction and the best way to achieve a sense of productivity. Guilt is also a factor that can creep up when we press pause for a day or even a couple of hours because we aren’t used to stillness, we aren’t used to stillness sitting alongside acceptance.
We have desires to live stress-free lives, sip on healthy teas and meditate for 20 minutes a day but fail to give ourselves the permission or TIME to actually do it. We have the guided meditation, fitness trackers, and journal apps on our phones yet they serve merely as a storage filler. The fast-paced, somewhat chaotic lifestyle we have adapted to may well be ingrained in us but it’s imperative that we also leave space for rest. There is always time for rest.
When you think of all the self-healing, blood-pumping magic our body does to keep us alive and well, it’s no wonder that it can become tired during busy times and peaks of stress. Tension is often held in the body but we have been conditioned to continue through the aching muscles and tired hands. Taking a couple of moments to sit silently and relax into your seated position can be a great way to give yourself temporary rest throughout the day. For long-term solutions, try giving yourself a self-massage, an at home spa day or simply get to bed much earlier than your routinely time.
Tired legs are rested at the end of a long day so why aren’t over-run brains treated the same? Working late, taking on too much and/or being in a constant state of worry may not have obvious affects on the physical side of things but sooner or later, it will begin to take its’ toll on mental wellbeing.
Studies have shown that the more time is spent interacting with digital devices, the lower psychological wellbeing tends to rank as well as lower self-control and less emotional stability. Minimise your screen time where possible – set reminders to switch off, read from devices that don’t project blue-light which can impact aspects such as your quality of sleep, and take regular breaks from answering emails and staring at big digital screens!
Self-care may have gained demand over the last year and become more of a normality than it once was, but it is so much more than a trend to follow and post about on Instagram. Life events, particularly the health emergency we are currently facing and the lockdown restrictions that come as a result of it, naturally impact our souls. When we experience intense emotions that vary in a short space of time, we can easily become quite tiresome. And that is why we must rest our souls through methods such as incorporating meditations, positive affirmations and journaling into our daily routines.
These three kinds of rest are important. Some days you may find that one needs more attention than the other and other days you may find yourself needing a day to fully rest, away from the demands of social media notifications, news and emails. Listen to your needs and don’t be afraid to stop for a while.
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