In modern society, we’re taught to take pride in our busyness. Slowing down, we think, is antithetical to success. The more we have on our plate, the better we’re doing in life! So why does it feel like burnout is always right around the corner? Why do we constantly wish for a break from the long hours, tight deadlines, and excessive workloads?
What if I told you that slowing down is actually the remedy for burnout? The key is taking the time to rest and nourish your mind, body, and soul.
By taking this time, you may find that you’re able to tackle your to-do list with greater gusto. You may also find that your emotional, physical, and spiritual health will improve!
How to Rest Your Mind
Have you ever fallen into your bed, ready for a deep slumber only to discover that your mind races? You worry over tomorrow’s events and feel a tightness in your chest. Eventually, you fall asleep, but you wake up still feeling exhausted.
A 2013 study from Scientific American found that our minds need downtime in order to remain sharp and work at full capacity. The good news is, you can develop small, healthy habits that will, over time, improve your ability to rest your mind. Let’s take a look at several of those habits.
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Alt: A gratitude journal on top of a marbled table
1. Practice Gratitude
Although practicing gratitude focuses on rest for your mind, you may find it can positively transform your entire life. If you take the time to express real gratitude for even the smallest aspects of your life, you’ll discover a shift in your perspective.
You can cultivate gratitude by taking time out of your day to acknowledge good things. Even when you’re feeling low, by reflecting on your day, you may find moments of goodness. For example, your shared smile with a kind stranger, your ability to meet a small goal, your enjoyment of a healthy, nourishing meal: All are reasons to express gratitude.
Start your morning with gratitude. This practice can shift your energy towards love, joy, and abundance. Even in the midst of hardships, you might find thankfulness for your loved ones, or the bird that sings outside of your window. Also ending your day with a gratitude list or other gratitude practice will shift your energy and your mind into a place of love and a space to receive.
Your list doesn’t have to be long — even finding three things that make you feel grateful may help your general outlook to improve. Commit yourself to 30 days of practicing gratitude until it becomes a habit.
2. Develop Mindful Practices
The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.” Mindfulness contributes to holistic health —energetic health, spiritual health, mental health and physical health.
Many habits contribute to the practice of mindfulness, and can be incorporated into both your personal and professional life. A few of these mindfulness habits include:
- Breathing exercises: Conscious breathing techniques can help relax your mind, body, and soul.
- Mindful eating: Eliminate distractions as you eat. Allow yourself to be present in the moment as you nourish your body.
- Emotional engagement: Learn to process through your emotions as you feel them, rather than push them to the side or bury them internally.
Dr. Alejandro Junger, the founder and Medical Director of The Clean Program and author of Clean, sings the praises of mindfulness habits as a way to improve your holistic health.
How to Rest Your Body
As you might imagine, the methods to rest your mind, body, and soul overlap. It’s vital to rest your mind, which in turn allows you to rest your body and soul. However, there are also simple habits you can develop to specifically provide your physical being with the rest it longs for. These habits include…
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Alt: A woman laying on a mat on grass out in the nature
1. Getting Outside
A study from the University of Minnesota found that experiencing nature can improve your physical health. Spending even 30 minutes outside can lead to reduced stress and blood pressure, a lower heart rate, and lessened muscle tension, all of which can help you to rest.
2. Clean, Healthy Eating
What we consume has a direct correlation to how our bodies rest and rejuvenate. Cut down on processed and sugary foods, and slowly replace them with superfoods and other organic, plant-based options.
If you cut processed food and sugar out too quickly, it can lead to fatigue and various aches and pains. However, the opposite is true after your body adjusts to a healthier diet. Your energy levels will rise, and muscle tension will decrease, which allows your nourished body to rest.
3. Physical Exercise
Exercise has many benefits, ranging from improving mood and weight management, to increasing longevity and promoting quality rest!
For many, engaging in exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that promote feelings of happiness and reduce stress. These endorphins act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers, helping you feel more relaxed and at ease. Engaging in physical activity can also help relieve muscle tension and reduce the physical symptoms of stress.
Certain exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong, focus on the mind-body connection, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. These practices incorporate deep breathing, meditation, and gentle movements, which can help calm the mind and promote a sense of relaxation.
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Alt: A woman practicing mindfulness, pressing her hands to her chest
How to Rest Your Soul
The wellness of your mind and your body both contribute to the wellness of your soul. However, it’s important to prioritize specific spiritual and emotional rest as well. The following habits can help you find rest for your soul:
Send loving, supportive and strengthening thoughts to your soul through meditation and positive affirmations. Meditation can help reduce negative thoughts and allow your soul to rest. You can use mindfulness practices, deep breathing exercises, and visualization (of a calm or peaceful place) to bring your soul rest through meditation.
2. Acts of Service
This could mean something as small as showing a stranger kindness, lending a listening ear to a friend, or volunteering one day a month. Approaching situations from a place of service is doing something that is so much bigger than you – serving your purpose and finding a sense of fulfillment and peace.
3. Cultivate Connections
We are built for relationships, but when we spend our lives in a state of perpetual motion, our relationships are often the first to suffer neglect. Carve out time to intentionally spend with a loved one, or have an authentic phone conversation with a good friend you haven’t seen in awhile. You will most likely find rest for your soul.
Connect with Serena Loves
If you take the time to rest your mind, body, and soul, you may see your holistic health improve and your productivity levels increase. I’d love to hear about your progress as you develop these restful habits!
You can connect with me through my website, and make sure to check out the Serena Loves blog for more helpful and useful tips on holistic health, healthy recipes, and how to live vibrantly.
XO – Serena