I have a confession to make. For the past 2 weeks I’ve been secretly wishing I would get sick so I could get in bed and read, sleep, and watch Ally McBeal reruns.
No surprise I actually did get sick. But, not sick enough! I could still work, so I did. Even as I researched the benefits of rest for this blog post! Ha ha!
Sometimes it’s not so easy to do what you clearly hear your body needs.
Especially when what it is asking for is rest.
I allowed myself little bits of rest in between working, but not the full on drop everything and get in bed that I was longing for. That just seemed lazy and I had too much to do.
As a result, not only didn’t I get better, I also didn’t get anything worthwhile accomplished.
I pushed myself until I got much sicker.
And, that’s when I finally cancelled my appointments, cleared my schedule and spent exactly 2 full days in bed resting, reading, writing and watching Ally McBeal.
Did the world end? No!
I’m happy to report that not only am I physically better, I feel spiritually and emotionally re-nourished, re-energized and renewed.
And, it turns out I’m moving forward in a new direction in my business. There were things I was overlooking. Questions I wasn’t asking.
My body had been signaling me that my soul had something to say and it wanted me to make the space to listen.
So, I’m adding this experience to my growing list of evidence that my body knows what it’s talking about.
The fastest path to getting where I want to go is ALWAYS the path of listening, acknowledging my desires, and following my feel good.
Since I did the research, I’ll share with you that there is an impressive list of benefits attributed to getting adequate rest, including:
Decreased Stress Levels
Increased Cognitive Function
Increased Alertness and Productivity
Improved Decision Making
Improved Memory and learning
Decreased Heart Disease
Better Reaction Time
Not only that….
Successful businesses like Nike, Facebook, and Ben and Jerry’s provide facilities where their employees can rest while they’re at work.
Why? When your bottom-line depends on the creativity and ingenuity of your employees you take their needs for rest seriously.
Afterall, who’s going to be more productive? An employee who is physically and emotionally tired and pushing themselves through the afternoon with caffeine and sugar, or a well-rested employee who has the time and space to allow their body to rest and their clarity and creativity to flow?
When are you most effective? You may want to spend some time considering the answer to that question.
Are you waiting until you’re incapable of working to take a break?
If so, consider the possibility that that means that your body’s only effective method of communicating with you is to take you out of commission.
When you start learning how to acknowledge the whispers…your longings and desires…your body won’t have to shout at you any more.
We live in a society that honors action, productivity, and the bottom line. But the bottom line really is that sometimes the highest productivity comes from resting – NOT DOING.
Especially when what we want to achieve is health or pain relief.
That doesn’t mean stop acting all together. That means keep listening. Your body will give you all the information you need.
And if you’re body is asking for rest, remember……
No matter how counterintuitive it seems to slow down when you think you should speed up, or to do nothing when you feel pressure to do more, it is the only way to create an extraordinary, magical, radiantly healthy life – and relieve pain.
And I bet Nike, and Ben and Jerry would back me up!
My wish for you is that you will have the courage and wisdom to give your body what it’s asking for, and get plenty of blissful, nourishing rest – even during the holidays…..actually, especially during the holidays.