The Wonderful Benefits and Importance of Rest

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The title image says The Wonderful Benefits and Importance of Rest in big, bold letters. In the background a woman sits on her bed and sips tea while she reads a book

Hello Sweet Friends:

Hands up if you’re t-i-r-e-d.

You are not alone! A full plate is incredibly common. And making time to rest can feel near impossible because…

Resting can truly leave you feeling guilty.

While we all know the importance of rest, it can really seem like wasted time. Because there’s always something more to do.

But what if I told you that rest is actually incredibly valuable? And ultimately beneficial not just for your well-being but your productivity as well. Woah, right?!

So get cozy, put those feet up and get ready to rest. Because today we’re going to examine why rest can be the best use of your time, even when your to-do list is full.

5 Important Benefits of Rest

A woman sits on a bed and stretches, hold her hands up high above her head. Her eyes are closed, as if she's enjoying a nice, restful moment.

1. Prevent Decision Fatigue

Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s when your brain’s so worn out from making decisions that it just can’t weigh pros and cons objectively anymore. It’s P-O-O-P-E-D.

Making tons and tons of decisions and judgement calls can wear away at your willpower and mess with your ability to make thoughtful decisions.

But don’t just take my word for it.

This study found that judges, super decision makers, were more likely to grant a prisoner parole after they taking a break.

A woman sits in front of her laptop and rests her head in her hands as if overwhelmed.

The longer they had been working without a break, the more likely they were to simply say no. Because keeping things the same is the easiest and safest route. And decision fatigue tends to push your choices in that direction. Because the safest choice is often the easiest one, and your tired brain doesn’t have to analyze too many points to make the safe decision.

Instead of pushing our brains to the point where they can’t easily weight pros and cons and make decisions, we should say yes yes yes to breaks. Rest is that important baby!

2. Experience Mindful Moments

A woman sits with her eyes closed, with her hands clasped. Her two pointer fingers point up and she rests them on her lips. Her eyes are closed and she seems to be meditating. The importance of rest includes allowing you to experience mindful moments and connect with yourself.

When you make time to rest, you have the important opportunity to reflect and examine your thoughts and emotions.

I’ll forever gush about the importance of periods of rest and mindfulness. They allow you to truly get to know yourself and your emotional state. And that can even help to improve your mental health. While more studies are certainly needed, mindfulness has shown that it helps to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Booyah! (source)

Related: How To Make ‘Self-Partnered’ Your Awesome New Relationship Status

3. Reconnect With Yourself

A woman lays down on a bed, reading a book. Beside her it a tray of skin care items.

Taking a break creates time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings and emotions and truly getting to know yourself is so important.

When you give yourself to opportunity to rest and decompress, you have the chance to truly connect with yourself in a way you simply can’t when you’re on the go. It’s the perfect opportunity to check in with yourself, examine how you’re feeling and get to know what you want and need in the moment.

We simply can’t do that for ourselves if we don’t take the time to rest.

A woman holds a book in her hand and rests if on her chin. She looks to the side, as if deep in thought.

Here are relaxing ways you can connect with yourself:

  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Sitting in silence
  • Going for a walk
  • Doing something artistic
  • Anything else that makes you feel connected with yourself

Related: How To Connect With Yourself When You’re Super Busy

4. Increase Your Attention Span

A woman rests her chin on her hands and looks forward, paying attention to the person in front of her. The importance of rest includes that it makes you more attentive and productive.

When you make time to disconnect and give your brain a break you come back more attentive and productive.

Check out the science behind this one:

Two 2007 studies showed that those who learned how to meditate had better working memories and attention spans while writing a test (source 1source 2). And they outperformed their non-meditating counterparts.

Why? Because the opportunity to rest and be unproductive actually helped them to become more focused, which allowed for better concentration and memory retention. How cool is that?

Learning to unplug and be mindful boosts your performance, which is a really awesome win! And when you recognize the benefits and importance of rest, you truly have nothing to feel guilty about.

5. Boost Your Creativity

A woman sits at her desk with her cheek resting on her hand. She looks like she's day dreaming. Behind her is grafitti of a brain, light bulbs and other representations of ideas. The importance of resting extends to your creativity.

You know what happens when you take a break? Tons and tons of uninterrupted free thinking! And that might as well be creativity fuel. Why? Because it gives your thoughts an opportunity to wander freely and your mind the chance to imagine.

In his paper Doing Nothing and Nothing to Do: The Hidden Value of Empty Time and Boredom, Manfred Kets De Vries, a Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change, states that:

“Doing nothing is a great way to induce states of mind that nurture our imagination… seemingly inactive states of mind can be an incubation period for future bursts of creativity.”

Quiet time gives rise to ideas.

You can’t be creative when you’re constantly focused on absorbing information and completing a list of tasks. So take a step back and let your brain rest. You never know what wonderful things it might come up with.

Final Thoughts

A woman sits on her bed and sips tea while she reads a book

Resting is not a waste of time. In fact, it’s an important use of your time. And, ultimately, a rested you is a more creative, productive, connected and mindful you. Your to-do list and everyone who depends on you benefits so much when you take the time to take a break.

So rest up babe! You not only need it, you deserve it.

Did you know these benefits of rest? How to you prioritize rest in your routine? Share your lovely thoughts with us in the comments below.

Health and love,

sara-signature

Thought of the Day: Resting is healing and never a waste of time.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

27 Comments

  1. Reply

    Brianne

    November 13, 2020

    Noboyd ever gives rest its due when it comes to taking care of ourselves. We always think about diet and exercise and drinking water, but what about sleep? It’s literally how our bodies repari themselves. I love this.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I’m so happy you think so too Brianne! That’s honestly my goal with this site – to include self-care and self-love into to health equation. Because it really is so much more than diet and exercise. And I also think when it comes from a place of self-love and care, whatever we do for ourselves is so much more meaningful and easy to do. I’m so happy you think there’s more to the conversation of health! <3

  2. Reply

    Marcie W.

    November 13, 2020

    I do my best to get the proper amount of sleep, take breaks from social media and make time for quiet self-care each day. Rest is essential. You can’t pour from an empty cup!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      Heck yes Marcie! You definitely can’t pour from an empty cup! I love that you have such a fantastic self-care routine. You’re rocking it!

  3. Reply

    Dr. Elise Ho

    November 13, 2020

    I prioritize my rest by knowing when I need to sleep ad what I need to do (and not do) before then. I really think the sleep track begins with dinner.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I love that you have a great, restful routine Dr. Elise! That’s fantastic. We all deserve that 🙂

  4. Reply

    Heather

    November 14, 2020

    People think it’s crazy that I nap on a pretty regular basis. But I feel like I can get so much more done when I do.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      You are rocking it Heather! If naps work for you, nap away! Your recharged batteries are clearly thanking you 🙂

  5. Reply

    Renata Green

    November 14, 2020

    I have the feeling that the everpresence of (social) media decreases my attention span drastically. I really have to work on that.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I think so many of us are in that boat too Renata! Setting aside some time for social media free moments of rest can be huge! I hope you have fun creating a restful routine you love <3

  6. Reply

    Matt

    November 14, 2020

    Rest is so important! I love my 8 hours of sleep, well at least I lay in bed for 8 hours, I don’t always sleep that whole time, haha. I know I feel so much better the next day with a good nights rest. And power naps once in awhile, are awesome!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      Yes to that! Sleep is everything. I definitely thrive off of nice long sleeps too. And power naps are golden! Thank you for sharing with us Matt!

  7. Reply

    Alyssa

    November 14, 2020

    These are all awesome points! I think it’s a great reminder to rest and take care of yourself. Also, thank you for fighting the stigma around mental health! We definitely need more people talking about the hard stuff.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Alyssa! And I couldn’t agree more – there is no health without mental health. I think that we all need and deserve more reminders to prioritize our mental well-being <3. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely thoughts with me!

  8. Reply

    Hip Mama's Place (@HipMamasPlace)

    November 14, 2020

    I love all these tips. Lately, I’ve been struggling to find time for myself because of never-ending responsibilities and commitments both personal and business. But I try to stop and relax when I know I need to.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I’m so glad you try to create a good balance for you! That’s what we all deserve, a balance that makes sense for us. I hope there’s a nice relaxing moment just up ahead for you 🙂

  9. Reply

    Nkem

    November 15, 2020

    This year I have come to appreciate how essential rest is. Even in those small moments when we just find stuff to fill the time, I find that infusing moments of rest within those small moments makes me feel more grounded and peaceful overall.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I love how you put Nkem! Infusing small moments with rest! And what a beautiful benefit too. Feeling grounded and peaceful is such a lovely thing. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! Happy resting 🙂

  10. Reply

    forkwardthinkingfoodinista

    November 15, 2020

    There is some really sound and sensible advice here for sure, I need to look at this as next year I am going to focus on my self care much more x

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      I love that your goal is to focus on self-care. What a beautiful and lovely thing to do for yourself! I hope you discover tons of self-care activities that make you feel awesome 🙂

  11. Reply

    Ntensibe Edgar

    November 16, 2020

    Oh yeah….DECISION FATIGUE is a real thing! To make it even much worse, put the food away from you and you will simply break, to put it simplistically! Rest up, everybody.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      Yes! I’ve certainly felt the decision fatigue before. It’s truly not a nice feeling! We all need to make sure we’re resting up. 🙂

  12. Reply

    emman damian

    November 16, 2020

    Rest is something we always neglect all the time. It’s so important to get adequate sleep apart from healthy food intake. This is so informative!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      November 19, 2020

      Rest truly is so important for our well-being. Truly important to prioritize! I’m glad you think so too Emman 🙂

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