Rest and Recovery are Essential for Your Body, Mind, and Spirit in a Busy World
Rest and recovery is essential to living a long, vibrant and healthy life. Stress — the leading cause of most dis-ease and health issues in modern life — can be effectively discharged using these eight rest and recovery tips.
Before we begin, I invite you to relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, plant your feet flat on the floor, and sit up just a little bit taller.
Now take a deep breath in through your nose — hold it for a moment — and exhale out through your mouth. Feel any different?
Even though breathing is a beautiful and vital part of being human and alive, so many of us forget to honor the task. Breathing is one of the simplest things we can do to remind our brains and bodies that we are safe. Why? Well, your breath is key to your body’s stress response. Breathing more deeply allows more carbon dioxide to enter your blood, which soothes the parts of your brain that handle anxiety and stress.
Let’s take a deep breath again — remember to keep your spine lengthened and to relax your shoulders, neck, and head.
Isn’t that just delicious? Let’s dive in!
Finding rest and recovery in a world that prioritizes busyness and productivity can be an overwhelming task.
But rest matters.
In Episode 111 of my Moon + Manifest podcast, I got to sit down with Tracee Stanley, author of Radiant Rest, and talk about just how important it is to embrace stillness as a form of rest and recovery. As Tracee so beautifully explained, “I am worthy of and it is my birthright to deeply rest. It is a birthright we all share.”
If you’re curious to hear more about Tracee’s inspiring work, head over to Moon + Manifest Episode 111!
As a culture, we have lost the capacity to cultivate stillness. Societal programming has moved us into a mindset of DOING rather than BEING, and many of us feel like we’re running out of time and space to truly rest and recover. So make the choice to prioritize stillness. Embrace the side of yourself that is quiet.
When we lean into simply BEING rather than DOING, we discover a great expansion. A sense of timelessness. We realize that we are not running out of anything. Rather, we are stepping into limitless possibilities.
There’s a beautiful quote by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu that says,
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
For some of us, these words inspire a feeling of relief. Peace in knowing that slowness, stillness, and the perfectly human need for rest is not a hindrance to our goals. But there are also those of us who read this quote and feel an immense amount of anxiety settle in the pit of our stomachs. This anxiety believes so firmly that we are running out of time; that there is no space for healthy rest and recovery.
Just like nature, we too have our seasons. Seasons of growth and prosperity, and seasons of shadow and stillness. Honor your seasons and you’ll find that time moves with you rather than against you.
8 Ways to Honor Your Need for Rest and Recovery
RESTING YOUR BODY
There are so many ways to bring rest and recovery to your body! The first and most obvious way is, of course, sleep. For those of us who live with insomnia, this is SUCH a challenge and often very difficult to hear.
There are also those of us who may benefit from hearing: Your ability to stay up way into the early morning hours is not a badge of honor!
Ours is a society that values high-performance. Sleepless nights to get work done have become horribly romanticized. I’m here to remind you that your sleep is important! Your body needs sleep to recharge and your brain needs the opportunity to dream so that your subconscious can work through your daily life experiences. When we keep this from ourselves, we’re not only left physically tired but mentally and emotionally tired as well and conditions like depression can intensify or be prolonged.
So go get some sleep (and keep injury and illness at bay)!
Remember that easy mindful breathing we did at the beginning of this blog? Deep breathing eases stress and anxiety, and synchronizes your heartbeat. All of this signals to your body to RELAX.
We can use deep breathing exercises to avoid our acute stress response to anxiety inducing situations and signal our body to enter a more restful state.
Our guest speaker for our episode on rest and recovery, Tracee Stanley, uses the practice of yoga nidra to be calm in the midst of turmoil. Check out Episode 111 to hear about the benefits she’s received from this practice, what yoga nidra looks like, and how she guides others toward embracing rest!
RESTING YOUR MIND
FREE FLOW JOURNALING
Putting pen to paper and simply letting your thoughts flow is a wonderful way to clear our minds of the clutter from the day. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation—just write!
Journaling can bring insight and self awareness to our actions. It gives us the opportunity to ponder our experiences and learn from them. Try writing about your day the next time you’re getting ready for bed and see what valuable wisdom you might find.
Try incorporating this burning ritual into your journaling for an extra boost of magic!
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Sometimes a change of scenery is all we need to relax our minds and embrace the feeling of rest. Talk a walk outside, visit your favorite nature spot, or schedule a trip to a quiet museum! The key, of course, is to choose a peaceful spot to help you embrace stillness.
Once you’ve found your peaceful environment, simply take it in. This is where you practice BEING rather than DOING.
Of course, we can’t forget to include meditation. A single Google search will bring you millions of guided meditations and sooooo many opinions on how a person SHOULD meditate. But I’m not here to “should on” how you meditate. I’m here to encourage you to embrace the peace and the clarity of thought that meditation can bring.
If your meditation involves Tibetan singing bowls? AMAZING.
If your meditation involves rock and roll? PERFECT.
If you sit, stand, lie down, or dance?
If you drive around the neighborhood for a bit of peace and quiet?
It’s all good and it all helps your mind REST.
Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter for a free subliminal meditation or check out Tracee Stanley’s free Moon Nectar Deep Relaxation!
RESTING YOUR SPIRIT
Last but certainly not least, resting your Spirit.
This is a process unique to you so lean into what makes you feel held, seen, and supported. Allowing ourselves to simply be held is something that can offer relief, rest and recovery in times of turmoil. Your Spirit thanks you each and every time you close your eyes and tune in to your Divine self.
Light a few candles, draw a bath, and remind yourself that your value, and the worthiness of your Spirit, is not defined by how much you got done that day. Tell yourself that you did well, because we know you did your best and that is absolutely brilliant.
Practice being in your mind, body, and Spirit without judgement.
Honor your need for rest. Your life force will thank you!
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