Quality rest

What is the definition of rest?


Your body and mind are like a battery - it can work for a while, but you need to recharge it. The best and the only way to do it is by resting. What comes to your mind when you hear the word "rest"?


I am sure you first think about sleeping. However, rest is not limited to just sleeping. Rest is taking a break from regular physical and mental activities to relax and recharge the body and mind. So, it can include meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music, walking in nature or other relaxing activities. Or it can simply be do-nothing time.

What does not come to the definition of rest?


How often do you choose activities, such as watching TV (or nowadays – Netflix) or scrolling TikTok? It is a paradox that many people choose ways to relax, which actually make them even more tired. 


When scrolling, watching Netflix, or even shopping online, your brain releases dopamine–the so-called "feel-good" hormone. Dopamine is a chemical that sends messages from your body to your brain to let you know when you are "satisfied". When you encounter an activity that boosts your dopamine levels, you are motivated to do it again because you like that feeling. Because of this process, dopamine is habit-forming, but it is also addictive. The fact is that as fast dopamine jumps up, as fast it goes down, feeling you tired in the end. 


So, it might look like scrolling social media is an excellent way to rest. However, it is tiring and also dangerous. It can only help you escape uncomfortable emotions, which can come when you are tired.

So, what is quality rest?


Well, what helps you to rest the most are different activities and experiences. It can be physical (other than work, study, homework, etc.) activities, such as sports, games, visits, socialising, etc. Why? Because of 2 main reasons:
  1. It helps you to disconnect from work and daily tasks fully, and it makes you more mindful – instead of rethinking specific situations, worrying or stressing about work, you focus more on the present moment.

  2. It gives positive emotions – you might have fun, feel the joy of learning/trying something new or feel fulfilled while having a deep conversation with a loved person. All these have a positive effect on your tired mind. 


To conclude


What I advise you to include in your weekly agenda:
- Some do-nothing time (no plan, no control, etc.)
- Physical activities (yoga, gym, walking, basketball, skiing, swimming or others)
- Socialising (spending time with loved ones)
- Other relaxing activities (meditation, hot bath, tea drinking, reading a book or others)


- Other activities or experiences (painting classes, dancing classes, museum visits, etc.)


It is crucial to practice self-control and self-awareness because you might keep yourself busy to avoid uncomfortable emotions or thoughts, but it is not helping you to feel better.