Why We Should All Take A Little R'n'R
At Pure Health we’re always on the go, plus we love sports whether it’s running, weight lifting or simply hiking around the city - so the concept of ‘rest’ isn’t something which often enters our minds. Lately we’ve been actively trying to rest more to stay healthy, sleep better and give our brains a break - and we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the results.
Modern lives are hectic, thanks to smartphones we’re connected 24/7 and there is so much we all want to do with our precious free time. Couple that with the ideology that ‘rest is for the weak’ and the ‘no pain no gain’ motto and any thoughts of resting are thrown out the window.
So here we’ve complied just a few reasons why rest can be a good thing:
Your Immune System Needs a Rest Too
The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms. Through a process called immune response, it fights organisms and substances that attack the body and cause disease.
It’s well documented that your immune system can go into overdrive if you don’t allow it time to recuperate and intense activity can cause a temporary decrease in it’s function. Research has found that during intense physical exertion, the body produces cortisol and adrenaline, known as the stress hormones, which together can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system.
So if you’re a fitness addict, working too much overtime or simply spend your days rushing from one place to the next, then consider taking a time out once in a while to allow the body (and immune system) to recover.
You Need to Rest to Rest
Ever struggle to doze off after a busy day or when you’ve got a full next day ahead of you? When your body is always on the go you are at risk of falling into a constant state of restlessness and high alert - making a good night’s sleep near impossible! A good way to keep an eye this is to track your resting heart rate, it’ll start to creep up as your body becomes overwhelmed.
We all want to stay on top of our game but taking a rest day, afternoon or just a few hours will help calm the body and encourage a sound night of sleep. If you’re time poor try a quick 10 minute meditation each day (free apps like Calm offer this) to bring focus back to your body and calm the mind.
Burnout - Its Real
Last month the World Health Organization officially classified 'Burnout' as a disease. It’s been described as a 'chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,' along with three defining symptoms:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- Increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
- Reduced professional efficacy
In a modern world of smartphones and 24/7 emails, it's almost impossible to switch off from the workplace and from those who have authority over us.
However, there are some great apps out there which can help, like Space which claims to help find your phone/life balance and RealizD which tracks your phone usage.
Your Brain Needs A Break Too
Mental fatigue is the result of brain over-activity which happens when you focus too much mental effort on, well, literally anything! Whilst you might take pride in your mental endurance, it can eventually catch up with you.
Research shows that mental fatigue can result in a lack of concentration and an increase in basic mistakes. Over time, mental fatigue can lead to feeling stressed, irritated and potentially even depression. Not to mention how it can affect your overall mood and behaviour which in turn will impact those around you.
The first step to more rest is to actually believe that you can rest. Rest is good for you for all of the reasons mentioned above - and more. Start by planning one rest event, whether its a 10 minute meditation or a full blown day off, and simply see how you feel. When you start to see the benefits of rest you’ll soon be switching off the smartphone and putting your feet up more often!