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Rest as Part of Self-Care: Boosting Your Overall Well-Being

Dra. Lisseth Gómez | Integrated Medicine Specialist

Each of the activities we perform during the day consume our energy, finding a break to recover should be part of our agenda. In a world where we have 24-hour activities at our fingertips, it is common for us to forget the integral way in which we should take care of our body, mind and spirit.

It is common to think that being busy with various tasks gives us a status of productivity and efficiency when in reality, it is not entirely so; working hard can be valuable and meaningful in certain contexts and situations of life. Effort and dedication can lead to goal achievement, skill development and personal growth.

However, it is equally important to recognize that hard work should not be considered the sole determinant of our value as individuals or the only path to success and happiness. The balance between work and rest is essential to maintaining our overall well-being.

The rest that each person needs is very different and depends largely on the causes of fatigue; understanding how we can rest is easier if we identify what leads us to exhaustion, which can be physical, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social and spiritual, and thus work on strategies to rest.

There are several ways to rest and recover energy. Here I will mention the types of rest and some resources that will help you achieve it.


Physical rest

When we perform physical activities or work intensely, our muscles become fatigued and suffer micro-injuries. Proper rest allows muscle tissue to repair and strengthen, preventing exhaustion and reducing the risk of injury in the long term, after finishing your workout, it is advisable to run a gradual cooling phase. This involves gradually reducing the intensity of your physical activity during the last 5 to 10 minutes. For example, if you have been running, you can slow down to a brisk walk before stopping completely.

Sleep and rest well because, during sleep, our body carries out important processes, tissues are regenerated, both the immune and cardiovascular systems are strengthened, and hormones are released that regulate various bodily functions. To achieve this, establish a regular sleep routine that involves going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Mental Rest

It is essential to maintain emotional balance, reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. If your job involves making decisions, don’t take those thoughts home with you; during your workday, take short breaks and do some stretching or breathing exercises.

Sensory Break

Digital disconnection is important during each day, establish periods without screens, instead perform activities that relax you, such as taking a walk outdoors, reading a book or simply enjoying a quiet moment.

Social Breaks

For this we must understand our relationship with others, and know if we need a passive break or an active one, example if you are surrounded by people, identify if the relationships are healthy or not, know how to say “no”, staying away from ungentle human interactions; if, on the contrary, you are isolated most of the time, a good way is to have a meeting with friends.

Creative Rest

It is especially important to be able to generate new ideas, when we rest, we rekindle our capacity for wonder, when you allow yourself to enjoy the beauty of nature, appreciate the environment and if you search in the everyday, find novelty, you allow your brain to have this rest. If you have the opportunity to visit new places, a park, or go hiking, you will achieve this even more.

Emotional Rest

There are times when our emotions are on a roller coaster, for different factors, too much work, or an emotional break, and sometimes it is hard to know if you need to cry, or you are angry. Looking for simple things that help you feel secure, confident, and you can better recognize your emotions, will lead you to rest emotionally.

Spiritual Rest

This instance of rest allows you to get away from the mundane, and focus on a greater purpose that guides you; regardless of your beliefs, actions such as helping a conscience, volunteering, meditation, among others, will help you to rebalance the adjustments in your life.

You need to stop, to move forward.

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