The following post was written by writing intern, Amelia Wright.
Rest has long been attributed to increased brain function and higher amounts of energy. Why then do we seem to push off rest and recovery or feel guilty about taking time to ourselves? In 2018, Business Insider reported on the American approach to work as opposed to other countries’ work habits. They found on average, Americans work longer hours, take less vacations and breaks, eat lunch while working, and have a hard time leaving work at the office. It seems as though a stringent work ethic and stigma against self-care has created a culture with nonexistent work-life balance. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Going against the grain can be a source of fear for many people. However, here are the facts about resting that will prove it both necessary and beneficial. Forbes recently published an article entitled “Resting and How to Unplug in a Busy World,” which chronicles many truths on the importance of rest. These truths include; rest heals your body and mind, lowers stress, and leads to increased creativity and productivity. More than getting eight hours of sleep, rest involves breaks throughout the day, eating meals away from work, taking vacations, and anything else that keeps you calm or provides a sense of fulfillment. Skipping lunch breaks or eating while engrossed in work may not seem a big deal, but it actually lowers job satisfaction, morale, and productivity, as according to the Harvard Business Review. Enforcing and taking advantage of lunch breaks can be a great way to bond with coworkers, laugh, and reset for the second half of your day. Moreover, we should not be living to work, but rather let work be one facet of many of what makes us feel happy and fulfilled.
After seeing the importance of rest, try to schedule 30 consecutive minutes of downtime this week. Take a walk, call a loved one, read a book, or even nap. Your body and mind will thank you.