Ain’t no rest for the wicked

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Can you really afford to be napping on such a nice couch? Adrian Swancar via Unsplash

Easy ways to enjoy taking a break 

Students are some of the busiest people in the world. With midterms, papers, jobs, and course work, it can be difficult to find time to do the things you love. It can be difficult to catch your breath in such a fast-paced environment. It is important for people to find ways to rest that are unique to themselves. Not everyone rests the same way, and not everyone considers the same things to be relaxing – that is the beauty of self-care and rest. It must be completely tailored to meet an individual’s needs. There are those who go for walks or take their dogs out to the dog park. Some might even enjoy getting their nails done on a weekly basis. Journaling is also something that works for some. There are many diverse ways for people to give themselves a break and allow them to catch their breath for once. Self-care, for me, has been something that has taken a few years to perfect. I never understood the importance of self-care and rest until I got into university. I have no idea how I was even functioning prior to this, but I am glad that I finally understand how crucial it is to my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

When it comes to rest, I like to do social media detoxes when I need to. Every single day, we’re bombarded with everything going on in the world. It is getting more and more difficult to read the news today or to go through my timeline. In fact, it is mentally taxing. I notice that at times I become so desensitized to other people’s suffering and instability that it makes me feel empty inside. In some instances, it makes me feel apathetic. Of course, I don’t mean to feel that way. However, when I am confronted by those feelings, I realize that I need to take a step back and do things that make me feel joyful in my core. This forces me to go back to my roots and take a detox to gain my sanity back. I am a firm believer that we absorb everything we read on the internet, whether it is directly or subconsciously. The most important way for me to rest is to not be on social media; it is common for the people in my life to see me deactivate my accounts for months at times.

I also enjoy going outside, or on walks in my neighbourhood. I find that it is the closest thing to therapy for me as nature is something that truly makes me feel well rested and healed. When I don’t feel well rested, I get stressed much more easily. Of course, going on walks is not sustainable all the time, especially in the harsh Saskatchewan winters. In these cases, I like to do yoga and Pilates. All I need to get me in the right mood are my diffuser and my mat.

Making time for the activities I love grounds me. The biggest thing that I like to make time for is painting. When I don’t paint, I don’t feel like myself. Painting requires your energy and time, and it is not every day that I have the time to paint, but I try my best to find the time to paint every month. I like to turn it into a whole set up. I love having a show playing in the background that I can watch whilst painting. I also lay out some snacks such as rice krispies or cookies. Lately, I have been watching Anne with an E every time that I paint.

I think the best way to calm your spirit is to read. Reading can take you to an entirely different world. It makes you visualize your way through books. I love reading fantasy books when I need an escape from the busy life of university. It takes me to a world of magic and magnificence. It makes me focus entirely on what I am reading. It’s as if I’m entrapped in the world of the books myself.

The most important thing that ensures that I am well rested is having a morning and night routine. I like to wake up early. The first thing I do is light my morning candles. I try to get a workout in early in the morning, drink some herbal tea, journal, shower, and listen to a podcast on my commute to school. My night routine is one that helps me take the edge off from the day. I like to light my night candles, usually warm and cozy scents. I also turn my diffuser on every night like clockwork. I cannot go to sleep without a diffuser in the background. The cozy light and the sound of it helps me sleep better.

I am someone who’s always overthinking everything, so I make the effort to essentially turn my brain off as soon as I am home. It helps me clear my head. I simply listen to or observe things, but I limit the internal monologue. It was difficult at first, but it has gotten easier over the years. It is important to have a night routine because it helps with winding down.

It is important to understand that lack of self-care leads to lack of rest, and lack of rest eventually takes you down the path of burn out. It can be inevitable at times which is why it is important to practice habits that will help you make time to be there for yourself. The most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship that you have with yourself.

We owe it to our bodies and our minds to take care of ourselves. The older we get, the busier our lives will get. It will be even harder to make time for the things we love. But it is important that we at least try, even if it is something we do for 10 minutes every day. Consistency is the most important thing when implementing rest into our daily routines. Being well rested allows us to be efficient. It makes it easier for us to be pleasant people. It allows us to be there for the things and people who are important to us. Without rest, catastrophe is bound to happen.

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