What defines rest and are we deficient in it? I think many of us are! I have spent many years complaining of being tired, never getting enough sleep and generally feeling exhausted. But on reflection, I realise I did little to change and introduce more rest and healthier sleep patterns into my busy life.
Ok so why are so many of us so tired? Sleep and rest are surely two of the most natural things in the world. Animals aren’t going around the whole time in a sea of tiredness. They get tired, they sleep. Simple as! Us humans of course are much more complex. We have developed habits that are not always for our greatest good but that we stick to these habits all the same. A typical and simple example is our somewhat inability to go to bed earlier at night especially when we are feeling particularly tired. I have been practically comatose watching telly on a weekend night, yet I stubbornly sat it out more times that I care to remember, refusing to respond to my bodies need to get some sleep. Yet to physically get up and retire for the night sometimes seems beyond me. The lure of Netflix of course doesn’t help, as I roll from one episode to the next of the latest series I watch. Despite tiredness, I struggle on and after a while, I then get a second wind! Happy days! The only problem is that I am not listening to my body and I am blatantly ignoring the very strong signals it is giving me to sleep. Like a small child, it is screaming at me “I need sleep and I want it now”. And sure, it does. Sleep is essential for good physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It affects our mood, our motivation, and all aspects of our lives. It is a crucial component to feeling good in our everyday life. It gives us the energy we need to go about our daily business feeling happy, strong, healthy and positive. It is one of the key cornerstones of our lives.
While training to be an IAWP Wellness coach, one of the key areas we study is sleep, along with others such as nutrition, exercise, water, finances, career, mindset, purpose and more. The aim is to achieve wellness and balance in all areas of our lives. Rest is a key area here and rest is more than just sleep. It includes downtime, relaxation, doing things we like to do, feeding into our sense fun and getting enjoyment out of life.
Take a little time out to consider how restful you are. What are your energy levels like in general and at different times during the day? How is your sleep? Is it impacted by other areas in your life, such as stress, relationships, career? Do you feel joie de vivre? It is worthwhile to bring awareness to these areas in your life and can help bring underlying issues to the fore. Examine the chart below and see if you can make correlations between how one area of your life may be impacting (positively or negatively) another area. Consider journaling this. This can be a very worthwhile exercise to do, and you may be very surprised with what might arise from your subconscious mind!