Do you remember the days when you fell asleep in the back of your parents’ car, without any worries? It is difficult to relax like this on a daily basis after reaching adulthood.
However, knowing how to rest well will prepare you for success in work and in life. Your body and mind need occasional downtime to function well, and ignoring this urge can have painful consequences.
While it’s hard to take time to rest, it’s also more important than you probably think. Backed by evidence and research, here are five reasons why you should take a day off.
1. Rest restores your body
The science of training has some interesting ideas about the value of rest. When you lift weights, you break your muscle fibers. During the rest and repair phase, your muscle tissue heals, thus becoming stronger. This means that it is after your workout – during the resting phase – that your body does the most important work of growing your tissues.
Athletes know that taking a day off doesn’t mean avoiding all exercise. However, changing what they are doing allows their bodies to recover adequately and protects them from the damaging effects of overtraining, which can reduce physical gains.
Getting enough sleep is an important factor in physical regeneration, but changing your activities is another way to get more rest in your day.
2. Rest increases productivity
Evidence suggests that taking short breaks throughout your workday increases productivity. It seems counterintuitive because you automatically work less if you take more time off.
However, while rest periods can take up precious minutes in your workday, they increase energy levels and improve your focus. There is no formula for balancing work and rest, but experts suggest that you listen to your body and take a break before you need it.
Another benefit of taking breaks is that you avoid burnout at work. Burnout is often the result of chronic overwork and can have dire health consequences. Plus, there’s no good reason to work so hard – years of research show that working more than 40 hours a week doesn’t lead to higher performance.
3. Rest clears your mind
Rest fights stressors that affect your mind as well as your body. For example, studies show that taking a vacation reduces stress and improves overall mental well-being.
One of the most relaxing things you can do for your mind is to sit still. Today’s world is full of distractions and pressures that will rob you of peace. Taking the time to sit quietly can help you reconnect with yourself and cultivate a more peaceful pace of life.
Rest can be of particular benefit to people engaged in health issues that affect the mind, such as depression or drug addiction. Taking the time to be still allows you to face life and bring out any inner issues so that you can get help before they get out of hand.
As with muscle regeneration, taking the time to do nothing is not wasted time. This will allow you to do more when you are actively thinking.
4. Rest improves creativity
Many people today suffer from information overload. If you’re working from a desk, you likely switch between emails, texts, phone calls, meetings, quiet computer work, and casual conversations throughout your typical eight-hour day.
Everyone from young children to retirees are now experiencing the effects of overtime in front of screens and busy life in their lives. Instead of promoting more creativity, this increased sharing of ideas can turn your brain off.
Recently, teachers who have noticed the effects of “noise” on their students have incorporated four minutes of rest at the start of their class periods. They found a significant increase in their students’ ability to focus and learn.
A well-rested mind is more creative than a stressed and overworked mind.
5. Rest allows you to stay in touch with yourself
There is another added benefit of getting enough rest: you come home. Often times, stressed people get distracted so they don’t have to deal with their fears or worries. While this temporarily relieves stress, it does nothing to help the underlying problem.
Eventually, those internal pressures, such as insecurities, anxieties, and feelings of overwhelm, will break free from the neat boxes you try to put them in. Taking the time to rest and be still will help you sort out your thoughts and emotions before they spontaneously ignite. .
You are the person you will spend the most time with in your life. Isn’t it time you got to know yourself?
Ready to rest
Now that you know how important rest is for your physical and mental well-being, don’t let anything stop you from making it a part of your life.
You may need to rework your schedule, change your daily priorities, and adjust some of your relationships. Whatever you do, take days off – you will reap the benefits for the rest of your life.
* collaborative position