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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my good friend, Lauren, author of Lauren Fowler. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and yoga teacher who promotes a non-diet approach to nutrition and health. She wants everyone to connect to their bodies intuitive wisdom rather than following diets. She encourages the tools of intuitive eating and health at every size. Stop by LaurenFlower.co to read more about nutrition, intuitive eating, heart-based health, and yoga.}

It’s 2 pm in the afternoon, and I just got up after lying down to rest for 10 minutes.

I share my office with an acupuncturist, so I got to lie down on the acupuncture table with a bolster under my knees and a blanket. Super restorative savasana pose in the middle of the afternoon before seeing more clients the rest of the day.

I didn’t use to do this. I would fill my day with more tasks – answering emails, staying active on social media, writing more blog posts, doing more and more.

As a business owner, this made sense: do more to attract more clients, and stay on top of admin tasks. It’s what everyone else is doing too – working super long days without any sense of work-life balance.

Yet, I was also talking to my clients about their sleep patterns and self-care.

I had to practice what I preached and take care of myself too.

We all need to REST more.

I’m not only talking about sleep here. Yes, getting more sleep is essential for better energy, moods, health, and just about everything. If you’re constantly waking up exhausted, then your first step may be giving yourself a bedtime to get 7-8 hours (or as much sleep as your body needs) regularly.

I’m talking about allowing your mind and body to rest throughout the day.

Many of us have stressful lives and are stressed about work, money, health, relationships, or other things. Our culture is go-go-go too, and living in a fast-paced environment can be stressful on the body. Even simple things like traffic or answering emails can be extra stress.

When we’re constantly living in a state of stress, our sympathetic nervous system is activated. While stress can be a good thing to get us out of danger – adrenaline helps us fight or run away – long-term, it’s depleting on the body.

Resting regularly throughout the day, week, and year helps the parasympathetic nervous system to ‘rest and digest.’ When you’re in this state, you feel calm, present, and relaxed. Your mind and body have the chance to recover and restore after periods of stress.

Resting will look different for everyone, so take an inventory of your own life. Look at the main stressors in your life, and where you can fit in more time to rest and restore. You certainly don’t have to do all the things on the lists below; they’re just ideas, so choose the ones that interest you.

I know it may seem like a good idea to ‘do more’ when you’re overworked in an attempt to catch up. Yet, often the best thing is stepping away and giving yourself a break, even for 10 minutes. You’ll come back to your work energized, restored and with a sense of clarity.

There will always be more emails and more things to do. If you are constantly working, you will end up burnt out and depleted. I’m sure you’ve been there. Now, consider trying a different approach. You shouldn’t have to live your life exhausted or getting through the day on coffee.

You deserve to thrive in your life and to have the energy to do the things you love to do. Build a sustainable, health-supporting life by allowing yourself to rest and setting fierce boundaries around your self-care and health.

Here are some ways you could practice resting in your life:

Daily Ideas:

  • Take a 10-minute power nap during your day.
  • Lie down on the couch, yoga mat, or anywhere for 10 minutes.
  • Breathe. Try out these three breathing tools!
  • Meditate. Grab my free 10-minute grounding meditation here.
  • Listen to soothing music.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Get outside and take a walk during the day.
  • Take a restorative or yin yoga class. Here’s a simple restorative yoga pose to try out before bed.
  • Set work boundaries, especially if you work for yourself. Stop checking emails after 6 or 7 pm, and give yourself time off.
  • Create a morning ritual to take care of yourself first, before diving into work. Mine lately is journaling, reading, and meditating. It takes about 30 minutes total, but you could easily start with 10 minutes.
  • Read a book. Pick up a real book rather than using the Kindle app on your phone where you may be distracted.
  • Take a bath.
  • Give yourself a bedtime, and get more sleep!

Weekly or Monthly Ideas:

  • If you’re active, give yourself a rest day or a rest week. Let your body recover!
  • Power off on the weekend. Allow yourself to turn off the email or social media on the weekend. Or, turn your phone/computer completely off one day of the weekend – game-changer!
  • Get a massage.
  • Let yourself sleep in on the weekend, as long as your body needs.

Throughout the Year Ideas:

  • If you haven’t taken time off work in awhile, plan a vacation. It could be traveling somewhere, or it could be somewhere local or a stay-at-home vacation.
  • Plan a one-day or weekend retreat. If you can, get out of your house for it. Go camping, or find a local AirBnB and take yourself on a retreat to spend time doing what you want to do – hiking, reading, journaling, sleeping, etc.
  • Look at your calendar – are you overbooked? Consider what you can let go of to make time for yourself. This doesn’t have to be forever, but there could be tasks that you could let go of in the short-term for more space for you. These could be organization meetings you’re a part of, projects that you’re not super excited about, or even cutting back on social activities you feel obliged to attend.
  • Do something you love that you rarely let yourself do, like a pedicure or a massage.
  • If you get sick, ease back into life. Let your body rest and recover.

How are you going to let your mind and body rest?

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