Juggling, multi-tasking, too busy, tired, exhausted – if these are the words and phrases you find yourself using to describe yourself, I encourage you to pause here. We all know that we need rest but sometimes we can convince ourselves that if we could accomplish, do, finish “one more thing” then we could truly rest. But the importance of resting cannot be overlooked. In fact, our bodies require three types of rest - physical, mental, and spiritual.
Physical rest is your body's need for a certain amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation may be celebrated as a new parent’s badge of honor, but chronic sleep deprivation can have some negative health implications, including worsening our mental health concerns.
Mental rest is your body’s need to disengage from hard work. Our brain needs time to process the (overload) of information, processes, and even memories it captured throughout the day. Neglecting mental rest usually results in forgetfulness and an inability to make connections between information.
Finally, spiritual rest is your body’s need to draw meaning from life. While this may or may not include a religious component, overlooking our need for spiritual rest can often leave us feeling depleted.
What are some quick ways you can begin resting? First, make a plan to rest. We have bedtime routines for children because we want to communicate that the period of resting has begun. In the same way, we have to set times for rest. Perhaps during your child’s nap time, you decide to take a long, hot shower or read a book you’ve put on hold countless times. You may even decide to take your own nap! In either case, setting an intention to find rest throughout your day is the first step.
This holiday season, you are encouraged to set intentions and incorporate periods of time that address your need for physical, mental, and spiritual rest. Be kind to yourself as you embark on this new practice. Remember, there is no one “right” way to find rest. Explore the different ways you are able to find rest - even if it “doesn’t work”, you may learn that you still managed to sneak in more rest throughout your day.
If rest is not your only concern during your transition into motherhood, I encourage you to explore our Moving Mamas or Adjusting to Motherhood groups. For more information about our groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Dr. Qu'Nesha Hinton Sawyer