The Importance of Rest

Need a BreakThese days, I love to work out. And I work out almost every day. Now, the important word in the previous sentence  is “almost.” Rest is so important when it comes to working out and growing physically stronger. In fact, only when we rest, can our muscles grow stronger. Plus, without rest days, injuries are likely to happen.

I haven’t always been very good about taking rest days, and the results weren’t pretty. I didn’t sleep enough (as I often got up really early to never miss a workout); I injured and re-injured my foot; and, I didn’t see the results I was looking for. I was no longer happy with my workouts and wasn’t looking forward to them. I was burned out.

If you’re asking, “What does all this have to do with career and life planning?” Well, here’s my point:

Unfortunately, working out is not the only area in our lives where we often don’t take enough rest. Regardless if you are a student, an employee, a parent, a freelance worker, and so on, chances are you don’t take enough rest from what you are doing. And this was certainly true for me not too long ago. Here is what I have learned about taking a break:

  • Schedule “rest times” or breaks on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. A day planner works well. Use it to plan your yearly vacations, monthly getaways, weekly workouts, and daily “me time.”
  • Keep your “rest time appointments” as you would keep any other appointment.  If you have to reschedule, do so. But make sure you do take a break.
  • Breaks may seem selfish, but breaks energize you and you’ll be able to do a better job after the break.
  • If you take enough breaks, you are less likely to get burned out.
  • Breaks make you look forward to “real life” – school, work, etc.
  • Scheduling breaks is a great way to motivate you to get organized and adhere to a schedule.

Questions: Do you take enough breaks or rest in life? If not, what can you do to take more breaks?

Be well,

Andrea



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2 comments for “The Importance of Rest

  1. India
    July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t take enough breaks, but I do tend to over-sleep. I think there is a correlation with my over-sleeping and not scheduling breaks. hadn’t really considered scheduling breaks before reading this article, so thank you!

  2. Amanda Salisbury
    June 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I wish I had read this article when I was in middle school or high school. Burning the candle at both ends and completely exhausting myself was my MO. I was frequently sick, and always frazzled. I eventually learned why I was so sick all the time – my body was stressed beyond its limits. After taking some time off between high school and college, I have learned to pace myself and I truly enjoy school now! I only go part time, and I leave myself free time for other activities, but the time that I spend in school now feels good to me, it doesn’t feel like work. I wish that this was a lesson that they taught in school, I know that I am not the only student who suffered from this type of exhaustion.

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