Why Rest is important

fitness mental health Nov 25, 2023
Why Rest is important

In our modern world, there's a lot of talk about hustling and getting stuff done. There's so much that people seem to forget why rest is important for optimal function. That's what we'll be talking about today.

The points I'll be going over are:

  • Properly Refill your tank
  • Repetition can get boring
  • Shower thoughts can occur outside the shower

Properly refill your fuel tank

We all know that without adequate sleep, you'll be more tired. What a lot of people don't really understand is that without adequate de-stressing, your fuel tank will still be low. It's not really worthwhile to get good sleep if you're still super stressed because a lot of its purpose will be defeated.

We use energy for more than just physical activity. In fact, the majority of our energy is spent on just existing.

Yes, it's tiring to move a lot, but it's also tiring to be constantly stressed out. This is arguably the bigger reason why people are so tired and beaten down.

Being physically active is part of being human. We are designed to be active and stay active to stay in top condition. However, when you look at the majority of adults today, a lot of them are depressed and stuck in office jobs.

Rest is important to ensure that your mental health isn't taking too much from your fuel tank compared to your physical health. Luckily, there is a connection between being active and having better mental health.

I won't go into the science here, but it works like two different sponges. As you squeeze the physical health sponge, the mental health sponge "absorbs the liquid" and is able to clean up any mental health messes that it needs to.

Once we have good mental health, we can squeeze that sponge and have the physical health sponge absorb the liquid back. This allows us to take care of our physical health where possible.

When we don't get proper rest, our fuel tank gets drained and our sponges become dry. Getting proper rest ensures that you'll be in good enough condition to handle what comes your way.

Rest is important to keep things interesting

As the old saying goes, distance makes the heart fonder. The longer we stay away from something, the more we enjoy it when we go back. After all, the once familiar thing is once again quite novel and interesting to us.

One aspect of rest that I don't see discussed anywhere is how it affects novelty. We have such a tight definition of being disciplined that we don't really allow any room for things to be interesting until we've earned it.

The reality of picking up disciplines is that the more interesting the process is, the easier we'll be able to stick to it once we get hooked. However, even the most interesting process can't keep you hooked forever.

Rest is important to prevent burnout. When you can no longer easily sustain your efforts, it won't hurt you to take a break.

Make a plan for how long you'll step away and what you'll do in that time if it's a longer break. If your break is on the shorter end, a simple walk or change of scenery will do the trick just fine.

The important part is to take as long a break as you need. If it's only overnight, then you take a break overnight. If it's for a week, you take a week-long break.

It's not worth it to keep going if you're burnt out or are on the verge of becoming burnt out. It's better to take a step back and unwind.

Sometimes, we need to "unhook" and relax. If mixing it up doesn't do the trick of revitalizing you, then it's time to step away for a bit.

Have shower thoughts outside of the shower

Have you ever had a shower thought? Perhaps it happened for something super important, or it happened for something that wasn't important at all? Either way, this phenomenon is an actual thing that can occur outside of the shower. It just requires you to disengage from your current activity.

When we're in the heat of things, we can't see clearly. We are clouded by our emotions and blind to the most efficient paths.

When we're heated, we want the option that will cool down the scenario the fastest. Those options are almost never the best ones.

This is where the saying, "Hindsight is 20/20" comes from. It's only after the storm has passed that we can see the aftermath clearly.

When it comes to your work, this concept applies to those scenarios when you're stuck and can't figure out the solution to a problem. Those scenarios where the harder you try, the harder it seems to find the solution.

Rest is important to let things sink in. When we keep going at the grindstone, we give ourselves no opportunity to absorb what we learn or what has happened.

By allowing the lessons time to sink in, you will not only get your solutions, but you'll get them at a much lower cost in terms of energy and sanity. The challenge comes from being patient.

In these types of scenarios, you need to learn to trust in your mind to find the solution. You take a step back so your mind can get to work on the stuff you've given to it.

Taking a step back can be a full withdrawal, or it can be from the specific thing that is causing the problem in the first place. As long as you aren't being stressed too much, you can take either approach.

When things become too hectic, it's better to pull back and allow things to sink in. By doing this, you may just find the solution you were looking for.

Rest is important for being your best self

A big factor in overall life enjoyment is how much stress you face in life. Stress can be good, but too much of it can become a lethal dose.

By getting enough rest, you are ensuring that the dose you get stays low enough that it's still helpful to get you to do stuff, but not so high that you get stuck with an unnecessary problem.

- Karl