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  • Writer's pictureJustin McLennan

Who has the time to rest?

In today's society, it seems natural or almost expected to always be on the move. We find ourselves thinking about what's next rather than focusing on what is in front of us. The belief that there isn't enough time in the day becomes a recurring thought, continually pressuring us to do more, and do it faster. Living in a high-pressure society, we find ourselves evaluating our days by how much we have accomplished and produced rather than how much we loved what we did that day. We produce as much as possible, even if it means sacrificing our physical and mental health. Taking the time to slow down and “indulge” in rest has become an after thought. Many even associate rest with guilt, they feel bad taking time for self-care, and instead push away the thought of relaxing.

Recently, I decided to make a change in my schedule and stopped training during the week for the month of November. For the last three years, I have been working 10 to 13 hour days, pushing my body and mind into overdrive. With the addition of a newborn baby 6-months ago, taking time to rest became a necessity. The toll of pushing myself so hard, for so long, without a break, had finally worn me down. However this need for a break was not due to my body having a lack of energy or my mind losing its’ sharpness, it was my emotions. The feelings I had while doing these trainings had changed so much. Without resting, I didn’t have the passion that I typically had for my trainings, I wasn’t as motivated to prepare in advance, and seeing each client’s progress as they developed during the trainings didn’t bring me as much joy as it once had. My love for the activities was fading as they started to change into daily tasks and "work."

Noticing this, I decided to take time to reflect and learn from my experience. The most important thing I’ve learned so far, is that even in this high-pressure society, we must all take time to slow down and rest. By not doing so, I had started to lose love for all the things that bring me the most joy in life. I began to lose my connection and feeling of purpose.

While we all may know that rest has many benefits for our bodies and minds, it is still seen as almost a “guilty pleasure” in our society. And while I’m only 9 days in to this “relaxation thing,” I’m seeing the benefits of taking the time for self-care. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many inner battles fighting the urge to get up and go do something, but I’ve stopped that little thought monster in his tracks. Self-care isn’t just for yourself either, it’s for those around you as well. By taking this time off in November, I’m connecting to the moments better with my wife and daughter and I’m feeling more passion and excitement for future Living with Shape endeavors than I ever have. Sometimes rest really is the only important task to do on your list.

Additional Benefits of Rest:

1. Helps you recognize and actively develop your physical and mental health.

2. Allows you to be more productive, engaged, and connected with those around you.

3. Prevents injury.

4. Strengthens your immune system.

5. Improves the quality of your life.

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