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Productively Unproductive

My mental health has taken a little dip of late, various things that have chipped away leaving me feeling a little less Jody than normal.

This weekend just gone has been a fairly low key one. Making sure my home is tidy, catching up with life admin, mainly cuddling Purdy, and having some much needed rest.

I find it hard to rest, like I’m being unproductive if I’m not filling my weekends with a thousand tasks and people. But honestly, resting is something our bodies and minds need in order to feel revitalised and slowing down is just as productive as ticking several items off a to do list.

“Real rest feels like every cell is thanking you for taking care of you. It’s calm, not full of checklists and chores. It’s simple: not multitasking; not fixing broken things.” — Jennifer Williamson

Resting is essential for overall well-being, offering many benefits that contribute to physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are a few reasons why taking time to unplug can really do wonders for your physical and mental health:

Boosts Creativity

When you take time to rest and relax, you are naturally more creative. Time off helps you refill your reserves and the quiet moments inspire reflection time, allowing you to break through creative barriers. Constant digital stimulation can hinder creativity and limit opportunities for inspiration. Unplugging allows you to quiet the noise and give your mind the space it needs to wander, explore new ideas, and tap into your creativity. Whether it's spending time in nature, engaging in hobbies, or simply daydreaming, unplugging can spark new insights and ignite your imagination.

Physical Recovery

Resting allows your body to repair and rejuvenate itself. During rest, your muscles relax, and tissues have the opportunity to heal. Continuous physical activity without adequate rest can lead to fatigue, muscle soreness, and even injury. Resting enables your body to recover from daily wear and tear, promoting better physical health and reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

Mental Clarity and Focus

Taking time out to rest plays a crucial role in maintaining cognitive function and mental well-being. Taking breaks throughout the day or getting sufficient sleep at night allows your brain to rest and recharge. This enhances cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, creativity, and decision-making. Resting also helps in reducing stress levels, improving mood, and enhancing overall mental clarity and focus.

Improved Productivity

Contrary to popular belief, resting is not a waste of time but rather an investment in productivity. When you're well-rested, you're more alert, energetic, and able to concentrate on tasks more effectively. Quality rest ensures that you can work efficiently and maintain productivity throughout the day without experiencing burnout or decreased performance. Taking short breaks during work hours can also prevent mental fatigue and improve productivity.

Enhanced Emotional Well-being

Resting is vital for emotional regulation and stability. Lack of sleep or chronic fatigue can exacerbate feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression. Sufficient rest helps in regulating mood by balancing neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for emotional regulation. Additionally, downtime provides an opportunity for self-care activities such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, or pursuing hobbies, which can significantly contribute to emotional well-being.

Optimised Physical Health

Adequate rest is closely linked to overall physical health and immune function. During sleep, your body produces cytokines, a type of protein that helps fight infection, inflammation, and stress. Chronic sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. By prioritising rest, you strengthen your body's defence mechanisms and reduce the risk of various health issues, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Self-Reflection and Mindfulness

Unplugging creates space for self-reflection, introspection, and mindfulness. When you're not constantly bombarded by notifications and distractions, you can tune into your thoughts, emotions, and inner experiences, fostering self-awareness and personal growth. Try turning your phone off for a few hours.

“The world is run by worn-out people, and our soul is often lost beneath the piles of our everyday life.” –Emily P. Freeman

Regaining Perspective

If you feel like you're reaching burn out, which I often do when I don't allow myself to properly stop, slow down, and reflect on all the factors in my life causing me to feel run down, then it can often cloud your perspective and makes it difficult to see beyond the immediate stressors. Resting provides an opportunity to step back, gain perspective, and reassess your priorities. It allows you to reflect on what's causing the burnout and explore potential solutions or coping strategies.

Reducing Stress Levels

Chronic stress is a significant contributor to burnout. Taking time to rest helps lower stress levels by activating the body's relaxation response. Activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a break from work can help calm your mind and reduce the physiological effects of stress.

In Summary

Resting is a productive practice that supports holistic well-being by facilitating physical recovery, mental clarity, productivity, emotional stability, and optimal physical health. Integrating regular periods of rest into your daily routine is essential for maintaining balance and promoting overall health and vitality.

“People no longer live by sun and moon, by wind and stars, but by some slyly contrived conventions known as clocks and calendars.” – Matthew Goldman

My take aways...

Don’t feel guilty.

Listen to your body.

Listen to your mind.

Slow down.

Don’t compare yourself to people on social media!!

Be kind.

Sending love - Jody x

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