Healthy Living Requires At Least One Day of Rest

Healthy Living Requires At Least One Day of Rest

Sometimes, I wonder why we ever evolved from the Stone Age. Life was simple, easy, and well-defined. Sure, technology and medical advancement were absent, but we humans just have a way of creating problems for ourselves. Back then, there was time for fruit-picking, hunting, stone carving, and relaxing. People knew what it meant to rest and recuperate from days of work. Life had a structure that actually included living.

Nowadays, it’s all about the hustle. Society has no room for people who do not have a constant inward stream of funds, driving people to work their lives away to survive. Taking a rest just doesn’t seem feasible, not when you have to worry about mortgage, car loan payment, endless bills, school fees, food, health care, and several other financial responsibilities that never stop coming. Fifty or fifty-one weeks a year, 12–16 hours a day, people are working. 

Setting aside a day for rest is a lost practice

Your mind, body, and soul all need sufficient rest to function properly.

The human body is not designed to thrive and flourish under persistent stress. During the day, we put a great deal of strain on our muscles, tearing tissues and depleting hormone levels. Your body needs sleep to revitalize, repair, and rejuvenate itself. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. [1] It affects your mind, eating habits, and can also lead to mental health issues. 

According to Leonardo Da Vinci, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” We must set a specific time in the day and at least one day of the week when we give our minds the chance to relax. The rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are alarming today because people don’t give their minds a break anymore. You are more productive and innovative when your mind is refreshed, clear, and sound. [2]

A breakdown in the wellbeing of the body and mind will result in a weakness of the soul. When your soul is exhausted, the entirety of your being begins to lose its essence. In every religion, physical rest is an essential part of spiritual wellbeing. 

A verse in the bible says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” A verse in the Quran says, “And we made your sleep (Subaat) as a thing for rest.” Buddha says, “To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.” Nearly every religion or free-thinking way of life teaches rest as an essential part of life.

Benefits of rest

Resting is a part of the process to rebuild strength, regain mental power, and rejuvenate the soul. 

Improves health and overall wellbeing: There’s this feeling of newness and thrilling energy you experience after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Your body deserves a break from all the hustle and bustle of life.

 T-lymphocytes, also knowns as T-cells, play an important role in the immune system, and sleep has the potential to improve T-cell count and functioning. [3] In general, your body is healthier and can fight better against diseases if you sleep adequately.

Lowers stress levels: Rest and sleep are inversely proportional to stress. When you sleep more and rest better, your stress levels begin to decrease. According to the American Psychological Association, “most Americans would be happier, healthier and safer if they were to sleep an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night.” You would have fewer headaches, gut constrictions, and jittering muscles if you take more naps and sleep better.

Increases productivity: Smart work over hard work. Lack of rest will result in poor productivity despite working long hours. You’ll have less energy and process information at a slower speed. Your mind needs to be clear and well-relaxed to focus better.

Better relationships and communication: A tired person is a cranky person. Being tired all the time means you won’t have the energy to build solid relationships with people, and even when you try to, you end up messing things up before they start. You deserve to be happy because an exhausted mind cannot process happiness. Give yourself time to rest and relax and your relationships will blossom and thrive.

Slowing it down: What to do?

The first step to learning how to take sufficient breaks is to find contentment in what you have. If you can work to provide the things you need, try not to overwork yourself for more. To be content is to have peace of mind and allow yourself a spare day without feeling guilty or lazy.

– Live within your income. Buying things you do not need and living larger than you can afford would only cause you to sink down a financial hole where resting becomes impossible.

– Include family and friends.  Making commitments with people who matter to you is a great way to discipline yourself to take a rest. You don’t want to disappoint the ones you love, so you’ll be forced to clear your day and go be with them.

– Set priorities and know your limits.

–  Learn to delegate. If you’re in charge of your workplace, it’s helpful to let others take over some tasks in a while. You don’t have to do everything yourself at all times.

– Avoid those late-night activities that eat into your sleep hours and leave you groggy the following day.

– Try yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises once in a while. They help reduce stress and combat fatigue.

References

  1. How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart.Sleep Foundation. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  2. A Day of Rest: 12 Scientific Reasons It Works. Inc. Rhett Power. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  3. How Sleep Strengthens Your Immune System. Health Line. Elizabeth Pratt. . Retrieved January 9, 2020.
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