Whenever a topic seems to come up several times on my radar from different places in a short time, I try to take notice. I figure maybe there’s a message coming at me from somewhere. This time the message seems to be about resting. According to my informal polling of late, it seems that, as usual, we humans tend to take a good thing too far, exercise and work included.
I have stopped overworking and excessive exercise for a little over a year now. It’s been surprisingly difficult, but I believe it’s a very good thing and I’m seeing benefits, including more time to live (ie sleep, cook, eat, meditate, and have fun) and be available for my relationships, feeling less rushed and hurried all the time, less sickness, and faster healing.
The Body by Science folks place emphasis on the notion of adequate rest and recovery. In fact, they say “The clients who are making the best progress at our fitness facility are training very intensely, very briefly and very infrequently”, and recovery “can take anywhere between 6.6 and 14 days”.
Renegade Health just posted this article, also about the need for adequate rest in pursuit of robust health.
Mindfulness plays a role here. It helps us be more aware of the signals our body, mind and spirit send saying “time out”. We usually ignore these signals, for societal, ego, and other reasons. It takes attention and intention to begin to hear them so that we can respond appropriately. We joke about taking a “mental health day”, but it’s no laughing matter. It is intimately connected with self compassion, which is a topic making its way more now into western mindfulness literature. Basically, our relationship with ourselves tends to dictate our relationship with others and with life.
Do you take breaks, or do you just crash into walls and fall down for awhile? Next post will be about how to take more breaks to prevent crashes.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!