rest. relax. refresh.
Taking time to rest improves all areas of wellness, but unfortunately it’s often overlooked. Expectations of work, school, and life can make resting seem impossible or unimportant. Let’s change that this year by making rest a priority! By taking breaks often, we are not failing, we are recharging our bodies and our minds. We encourage you to rest, relax, and refresh by Pressing Pause.
Self-care is about more than just meeting the basic needs of human survival; it focuses on investing in your health and well-being through intentional behaviors. This is a lifelong process that can be experienced in many different ways, which means it’s necessary to continuously check in with yourself to assess your needs. Self-care allows you to prioritize yourself, which is why it’s beneficial for your health. Here are some ways you can practice:
- Hang out with friends
- Sleep (naps are nice)
- Set boundaries (for yourself, for work/life balance, etc.)
- Take a break (read, draw, watch a movie)
- Exercise (even if it just means taking a short walk)
- Eat nourishing foods (and comfort foods when the situation calls for it)
While self-care can mean trips to the spa or retail therapy for some people, it’s important to remember that it’s not something that you need to spend money on to achieve. It can be as simple as taking a moment for yourself to relax. It’s also important to point out that prioritizing your well-being is not selfish. Be compassionate with yourself and practice self-care.
In our society, it is common to hear messages that tell us our worth equals our productivity. So much pressure is placed on us to “embrace the grind culture”. Unfortunately, this can worsen our well-being. Rest is not something that we can ignore; it's something that’s necessary for us to live well. Benefits of rest include:
- Reduced stress
- Increased creativity
- Improved immune system
- Improved mood
- Improved focus
We need to reframe our perspective of what productivity really means. By taking time to rest, you improve your overall well-being, which can allow you to work better and be happier. We should enjoy the lives we live, which is why it’s important to take breaks throughout the day. Resting does not mean that you’re lazy or that you have no ambition; it means that you care about yourself. Remember that rest restores you.
- A good balance of time spent on and off technology is beneficial to both physical and mental health.
- “Unplugged” likely means something different for everyone, whether it’s not using your phone while you’re with others, avoiding email during dinner, or spending less time on social media.
With something for everyone, Recreation & Wellness offers multiple opportunities to do so. Become more mindful of your time and better balance it with exercising, having meaningful conversations, spending time outdoors, playing sports, or anything else that enhances your overall health and wellbeing. Use those extra "unplugged" hours each day doing something good for you, and just enjoy the world and people around you!
Good sleep health is important for individuals to best achieve their personal, family, and professional goals. Sleep is a vital part of well-being, but how do we know if we are getting enough sleep and how do we increase sleep? If you spend more than 30 minutes trying to fall asleep or feel fatigued all day, it might be time to assess your sleep. Options to improve your sleep include:
- Exercise regularly throughout the week
- De-stress and wind down by avoiding stressful or stimulating tasks
- Reduce or eliminate blue light and separate screen time from sleep time.
- Select food and drinks that promote sleep (lean proteins, nuts, relaxing teas) and avoid heavy meals before bed
- Use a sleep diary to review patterns and make incremental changes
Check out more tips and tricks from the National Sleep Foundation.
Image by: 愚木混株 Cdd20 on Pixabay
Finding balance in life prevents you from experiencing burnout. Burnout is that feeling you get after being overwhelmed with work - you lose motivation, energy, concentration, and satisfaction. It’s very common for students to have this sensation, especially at the end of the semester. Fortunately, there are many ways to restore balance to your life and feel better:
- Evaluate how you’re doing in each of the eight areas of wellness - do some areas need more work than others?
- Take deliberate steps to improve your health (exercise, eat nutritious food, get good sleep, etc.)
- Press pause! Take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed.