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REST

One of my favorite books that I’ve read this year was Rest is Resistance, by Tricia Hersey.

I enjoy reading books and listening to podcasts that not only help to make me to feel all warm and fuzzy, but those that help me to make long-term shifts in my daily life. This was definitely one of those books for me. I find myself referencing many of the principles in this book constantly, and re-evaluating what I can do to rest.

Rest is not something that is foreign to us. Many of us usually strive to find rest. We set aside self-care days, plan time away from home during the week to catch up with friends, and even go on luxurious vacations to take a step away from the grinds of life.

Tricia also teaches us about many of the obstacles and what excuses we use as to why we don’t have time to rest. We have to meet the needs of others, in regards to caring for our families. Working multiple jobs, because the bills won’t get paid unless you work well over 40 hours per week. Or maybe you just don’t even know how to rest because this was never modeled to you in a healthy way.

What I loved most about this book is that the author normalized rest being something that we don’t need to create the perfect setting for. We can rest any and everywhere. I am all for vacations, and fabulous brunch days, AND I also want to add more pauses throughout my normal daily routines.

You get to be as creative as you’d like with finding rest. This book gives many examples on how to do this in many settings. Some ways to add rest into your day includes, turning off notifications for your emails and text messages on your phone. Even if this was only for 15-30 minutes each day. Simply not responding right away to these same calls, texts, and emails that are not emergencies. Allowing others immediate access to you all of the time, is one of the ways that many of us have learned how to keep up with “grind culture” as described in the book. You are permitted to take the time you need in order to respond/reply back to messages after you’ve had some time to process. You can use phrases such as, “I will get back to you, after I’ve had time to think about it more”. I know this sounds much easier written than actually applying this to our conversations. You can get there with practice. We don’t have to do everything, agree to every request, and show up for others all of the time. This scenario is also an example of how to set boundaries, so your feelings of stress and anxiety begin to decrease.

Another example of how this book discussed ways to implement rest in your daily life is to just close your eyes, lay down, and daydream for 15-30 minutes, or even longer. We owe it to our body to slow down. We all deserve and need rest. Even if you are typically “on the go” you can try your best to slow down your racing thoughts and your on-going to do list. The author described how she would sit on the bus on the way back home and daydream out of the window. Noticing the trees, the sidewalks, the birds flying. These simple observations allowed her to be present and in tune to what her mind and body needed in those moments.

You can implement being more present to what is currently going on around you and within your body, by meditating. There are wonderful meditation apps, such as Insight Timer that can assist you. You can also use “grounding techniques”, such as focusing on your senses. What can you currently see, touch, feel, taste and smell. Notice how you are feeling in your body and where are these sensations taking place? Is your heart racing? Does your head heart? Are your palms sweaty? This is extremely helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed, when you feel that you need to step away for a minute to catch your breath, and to REST.

Let’s continue to take better care of ourselves by trying something new to slow down each day.

How can you honor your body today and seek REST?

~Sharece Campbell, LMFT

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