Why is Rest Not A Luxury?

Many of us have been told over and again that our worth is dependent on how much we do and produce, that our value is directly linked to how busy we are. We believe that this glorification of busy is killing us, leaving us no space to rest and reflect.

One of the basic questions we ask each other is “What do you do?”. As if by knowing what a person does for living can give us a sense of who they are. As if “doing nothing” is weird, or boring, let alone indicative of a person who does not contribute to society. We would think that a person is incompetent, or worse yet, unstable if they do nothing. This whole idea is based on viewing rest as a luxury, and those who afford luxury should have a justification and a right to do so. Because if you don’t afford rest and still have it, you’re spoiled ,lazy, underachiever or irresponsible. But what if we shift that view, and realize that we all can not afford NOT resting? What if we stop thinking of rest as a reward, and think of it rather as a birthright? As something that we all deserve, no matter what we do and what we don’t do?

When will we stop risking burnout and sacrificing our wellbeing just so we can “do more”?

On our way to wanting to be constantly productive, always doing something, we end up burnt out and low on energy. Our creativity is sacrificed, because creativity needs breathing space, time and space for reflection. How can we do that if we’re too busy being busy?

Living in a world that places value on overworking yourself, and underestimates the value of resting, rest is definitely resistance. When we overwork ourself, we ignore our body’s call for rest. It is at the expense of how we feel, what we struggle with, and our dreams.

We are not saying being busy or ambitious is bad for your wellbeing. We are saying KILLING yourself to do it EVERYDAY is.

According to Renée Fishman “ we are, collectively, very good at doing, we are weak in being.” Because we have forgotten the value of “just being” without linking our every way of being to doing something.

That’s why we don’t need to escape from resting, neither should we view it as procrastination. It is important that we understand that rest is not an option, it’s a necessity and a right, not a prize for those who have finished their task, and those who “made it”. If we are to work at our highest capacity we need to use rest as a skill and prioritize it. It is vital for survival, and mastering that balance can help us thrive. Rest is not something you buy in order to afford, nor it’s something you earn in order to deserve. Rest is what is needed for our self Awareness and Accountability.

Here are a few suggestions on how not to confuse rest with procrastination, AND have a guilt free resting time that helps you chill, relax and recharge:

1-Schedule your Rests 

It might seem unusual to schedule your rest. However, you can do this at first, until you get used to managing your rest. We can start small which is never a bad place to start from. Like planning your breaks before feeling exhausted or consumed, not waiting until you feel overwhelmed to take a break.

Power naps can also be an effective way to rest and recharge.

You can pick a space for you to relax in any way you can. Lay down or just find a position where you can be comfortable to sit, be loose and surrender to gravity. . Power naps can be a 9-minute break where you close your eyes you don’t necessarily have to fall asleep! But preferably you need to be away from noisy settings if possible. You can set your clock to nine minutes and let go.

Check our reels on resting practices, you can do this practice any time anywhere even on your break at work!



2- Saying No is good

Resting can help you find a way to continue with your work without feeling drained and quit. There will be times when you’ll feel tired and drained. At this point, saying no will save you from spreading yourself too thin. You don’t need to push yourself and consent to consuming yourself. Saying no to things you do not genuinely desire to do allows you to say yes to things that nourish your soul.

Respecting your body, boundaries and energy is not only a well-being booster just so you can be more productive, it is a way of being in touch with yourself as a whole.

3- Notice what drains you, and what recharges your energy

Some activities we do recharge us, and others drain our energy instead, which is inevitable. We do not need to evade activities that drain us, as long as we are able to practice setting boundaries. So by to knowing which is which, and being aware of our gut feeling, and our limits, we can keep our energy flowing. We can then invest more time in what boosts our mood and relaxes us. Knowing how we react to certain types of activities can help us overcome doubt to leave those activities behind, and instead do something else that nourishes us.

Practiciting doing nothing can be very challenging at first, but it is a very important and nourishing. Take time to settle into it, just like Mat Le blanc did when he talked about his years off screen. Maybe if we look at it from his perspective, we’ll do things differently.

Your mental health is worth it and so is your well being. 

If you would like to learn more about managing your breaks and resting time, and how to listen to your body’s call for rest, Somatic Education can help you achieve that. Feel free to book a 30-minute free consultation with Sara Ismail.

The 1:1 program can aid your process of unlearning habits that no longer serve you and learning new mindful ones.

Feel free to also follow us and explore Movin’Cairo content on Instagram & facebook for more topics and available “Awareness Through Movement” workshops and classes, which you can learn about here.

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