“I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”

We know you’ve heard this or even said it yourself. It’s a common phrase used by those considered over achievers. We have been conditioned to view constant work as the only way to reach our full potential but this causes so much damage and we usually don’t realize it until it’s too late. Rest is a valid form of productivity although many people still view it as a waste of time, so we drown ourselves in coffee and energy drinks to try to get as much done as we can before we ultimately crash.

Resting is not only an essential part of our body’s physical recover it is a crucial component in maintaining our mental health. When we have been working non stop we can notice a lack of patience and irritability which also leads to decreased focus, all these things are counterproductive to the goals we are trying to reach.

Sometimes when we get in the zone we push through physical symptoms of exhaustion. We might even overlook or ignore our bodies’ cues for needing a break. Our body is constantly communicating with us, here are some things to look for

6 Common Signs of That You Need More Rest:

Daytime fatigue
Increased depression or anxiety
Difficulty focusing
Change in appetite
Decreased motivation

Insufficient rest also affects our brain in serious ways. It can cause problems with memory and lower our ability to use logic and reason which in turn causes emotional upset and dysregulation. Poor rest can also impact our blood pressure, weight, and overall health and wellness.

Fitting more rest into a busy schedule

When we are accustomed to constantly being on the go and making progress, slowing down can be difficult to do. We may even feel ashamed, guilty or uneasy at just the thought of it but knowing when we need rest is a huge part of self care and maintaining a healthy mental state. Rest doesn’t only happen when we’re sleeping, rest can be accomplished in a variety of different activities which promote our well being. Try setting aside 5 minutes per day to start, we all, yes all of us, have 5 minutes to spare in our day. As this gets more and more comfortable, start increasing this time each day or every few days until you have a routine that works best for you.

5 ways to rest include:

Lowering your workload- This may be the most difficult because we feel like we must do it all but setting boundaries at work decreases the chances of career burnout.

Disconnecting from social media- The average American spends at least 5 hours on their phone and most report a feeling of anxiousness during or after phone activity. Replacing screen time with another activity such as a walk outside or reading a book is great for recharging our mental batteries.

Mediation and self-reflection- Meditating can work wonders for a tired body and brain. It encourages us to let our thoughts flow and simply take notice of what parts of our body may need attention. We have a great blog explaining step by step how to get started, check it out here.

Engage in a leisure activity- A spa day, hiking, shopping, a long bath or shower, and brunch are some great ways to take a break and give ourselves so extra love and attention.

Change your sleep routine- Having an ineffective sleeping routine can really throw things off, check out our blog on sleep hygiene to learn how to get a better night’s sleep to more effectively rest each night.

Use Affirmations- You deserve to rest and cognitively, you know this is true but how we’ve been socialized since birth makes it hard to really connect with emotionally and affirmations can help. Identify an affirmation that works for you, something like, “Rest is good for me and I deserve it” or “To truly succeed, rest is required”. Find an affirmation or two and say it out loud daily!

These 5 tips can help move you from waiting to “sleep when you’re dead” to prolonging a healthy and happy life!