I have had multiple people tell me I need to rest and restore - from acupuncturists to yoga teachers to PT's. I don't feel as good in the rest and restore stage as I do when doing cardio. I must crave those endorphins. I have tried meditation, visualization, breathing techniques...Any tips?
Curious, if you don't mind sharing @mimi4064 , why you think people tell you that you need to restore and recharge?
But it does raise such a good question - what is the right "balance" of rest and charge up? I suspect it's different for everyone, but that it probably really is some sort of balance and not just one or the other. Reflecting on it, I used to be a total spin junkie and needed to get a huge sweat in to feel "good", but right now I'm all about child's pose on the yoga mat. Wonder if it's about different phases too?
@Marisa may some thoughts! She's one of our fabulous Community Managers but also happens to be a fantastic yoga teacher and run-lover.
I find it very difficult to take a day even even though I know my body needs it. Slowing down makes me stir crazy. Yoga and Pilates make me think about the to do lists. I’m not sure if it’s a physical need or psychological. It would be great to hear some ideas on how to balance being active and rest.
@Margie @mimi4064 @Ellen I totally hear you and I'm so happy you're bringing this up because I think A LOT of us can relate -- I most certainly can. Movement is an incredible tool to help us release, to get out of our heads and to come back into our bodies. But just as important as movement is to building strength + shifting our mood and energy, is rest's role in giving our WHOLE being a chance to really restore and recover.
We all have a different relationship with rest. I know for me, slowing down has often felt uncomfortable because it forces me to just BE with my thoughts and emotions without escape. I've also gone through a lot of my life feeling like my worth was attached to how much I could achieve and accomplish and DO -- and just "being" didn't feel like "enough."
That being said, working on my relationship to rest has been one of the most profound and impactful journeys of my life. Slowing down is uncomfortable because we don't often practice it. But it's in the slowing down, in the pause, in the "in-between" where we actually have the space to connect with ourselves and the quiet whispers of our knowing underneath all the loud noise of the world around us. It's uncomfortable and totally worth it. Below are a few tips I would recommend in exploring your own relationship with rest:
1. Try adding in 1-2 rest days during the week -- especially if you're doing intense workouts a lot of the time. Each time you exert in a workout your muscles experience microscopic tears and damage (resulting in the sometimes sore muscle feeling you get after a hard workout!). Rest days allow for fibroblasts to repair our muscles so they continue to rebuild and get stronger. If this science tid-bit is a motivator for you -- use it! 🙂
2. Get curious about your relationship to rest and maybe start by journaling on -- "what am I resisting about rest?" Starting with that personal exploration was really helpful for me in getting to the next phase of figuring out what rest means to me.
3. On that note -- rest can mean something completely different for each person and it can change from week-to-week, day-to-day. Let yourself get quiet for a few breaths and really ask your body what it needs that day. Some days it's might be taking yourself to the beach to relax and observe the waves. Other days it may be a guided seated or walking meditation. And other days it may just be doing completely NOTHING. All of it is perfect. Get quiet and practice listening to what YOUR deeper knowing is calling for.
4. If you're looking for a rest/recovery practice to support you on rest days, let yourself try different things and explore what you actually enjoy doing! For me, when I find a practice that I truly enjoy I am always more consistent with it. Whether it's meditation, restorative yoga, yoga nidra, nature bathing, a long nap -- find what feels good for you and let yourself enjoy it.
5. Let yourself be a beginner. If rest doesn't come naturally to you, that is OKAY and you are definitely not alone. Maybe you'll get 5 minutes in one day and maybe an entire day another day -- just start somewhere and let yourself walk the journey with beginner's eyes.
And if you needed the reminder -- you are completely worthy of deep nourishing rest, and I promise you will feel even stronger and more empowered in your workouts when you start incorporating it into your routine!
The body needs to rest WELL. In order to recharge, the heart needs to rest. Sometimes, we build cravings in the mind to things that initially are "healthy". But, the mind spins and that "healthy habit" turns into a self-aggressive act, or just something that we can't control.
For endorphin junkies, sitting still, being quiet, watching one's thoughts and breath can, indeed feel like torture.
As the meditation say: "If you have a hard time sitting for 1 minute, you need 1 hour.";)
If your medical team is telling you to rest. There is a reason. Good luck and hang in there.