Lately I have been thinking about the importance of rest. Sometimes rest is considered indulgent, and most people I meet feel guilty at the thought of taking a minute just to do nothing…

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AS A KID

When I was a child, It was so easy to have sick days. My dad who was a High School teacher would take a day off school, take me to the doctor and then I would sleep all day. It was simple to catch up on school work when I was sufficiently better, because let’s face it, how hard was the school work anyway? If only it were that simple now. We can’t just put our legs up and hope that someone else will do the work for us. Work just isn’t negotiable – ever. If you want your bills paid, if you want money in your savings account you have to work, no matter how sick or rundown you are.

WORKING FROM HOME

I find working from home to be hard sometimes. Jonathan and I are constantly switched on. We’re our own managers, thus we are the ones things fall back on. Rest when we’re sick becomes this foreign concept normally, purely because we’re at home, so we can still do things no matter how much we’re coughing, splattering etc. “I just coughed up half a lung, oh well, I better meet this deadline”. It is so easy to turn a blind eye because we’re not surrounded by colleagues.

I have been sick quite a lot this Winter, which is a little strange for me – but it coincides with my life being the busiest it has ever been. Juggling an overseas trip, roadtrip, photoshoots, general work, Splendour, meetings, events and late nights is a recipe for disaster. On top of that, I never really gave my body the time to digest what had happened and I never really caught up on sleep either, which probably (read: definitely) left my immune system in a bad state. I just expected myself to just go, go, go. Fast forward to now, and I am completely run down. I have fevers, a deadly cough and a nose so runny I used a box of tissues in an afternoon.

TAKE A STEP BACK

So yesterday, I took a step back and questioned the importance of rest and spent the entire day in bed. I haven’t done this since I was a kid. I checked my phone twice and I didn’t even go near my computer. I literally just slept all day. At first a rush of guilt washed over me, but then I figured I was so mentally and physically exhausted, I really just needed to rest and recuperate. Jonathan kept bringing me Panadol, juice and water – what a cutie. He’s been so sick too, which coincides with his busy work schedule at present. Your mind and body are intrinsically connected, so powering through without taking some you time is actually so detrimental to your well-being. You will just end up running yourself into the ground.

OVERDRIVE

Did you know that pushing your body into overdrive will manifest physically through that tight neck and shoulders feeling and it will usually cause havoc on your digestive system too. Also, your hormones will begin to go a li’l crazy with cortisol and adrenalin being pumped through your blood without you even knowing it. This is why your skin breaks out in times of stress. I have these stupid pimples which won’t clear on my chin, so after doing this research, it explains a lot!

STOP STRESSIN’ YOURSELF OUT EVEN MORE

People these days, and you can include me and the majority of my friends in this, put added levels of stress on themselves. They feel the need to say yes to everything brought forward to them, they feel bad for cancelling plans so over extend themselves, they workout even when they’ve had an exhausting day in the office, they continue to work when they have a bad virus. I think we need to remove the negative connotation from resting and realise we actually need it to be productive, week in week out.

I am going to make sure I take a step back and make sure my cellular level has time to recharge itself each week from now on. Being this sick has truly made me rethink how I have been treating my body in the last month.

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SOMETHINGS I AM GOING TO DO TO RELAX / RESTORE

  1. 8 hours of sleep. I think going to bed before 12am too. I am a bit of a night owl, and go to bed quite late, but I don’t think it’s working for me
  2. Learn to say no to things when I feel overwhelmed and not to feel guilty for saying no. I am notorious for always saying yes to people
  3. Read a book instead of being on my laptop
  4. Walk more
  5. Take a nap of a weekend if I am feeling tired and not feel guilty that it’s daylight out
  6. MORE YOGA, PLEASE
  7. Listen to my bodies signals more often and know to slow it down a little

I hope you have taken something away with you today. Thanks for reading and I hope you take some time out for yourself this weekend and really relax. On that note, it’s time for me to shut my laptop down, grab some water and head back to bed.

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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