By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Some of you may wonder why I haven’t posted much over the past week. It’s simple–I caught a touch of the flu and have needed to rest.
As a massage therapist, wellness coach, and small business owner, I work a lot of hours. And in my work, I come in contact with many people every day. Some of my clients see me when they are sick or are getting over an illness but are still contagious. Being self employed, I don’t get paid sick time. Therefore, I do all I can to avoid catching colds and flues. However, there are still times when my immune system can’t handle the fight and an infection or flu bug gets me. Luckily, living healthy keeps me well most of the time and helps me get over most illnesses relatively quickly. In those times when I do get sick, one of the principle methods I use to get over an illness is one you can’t buy in a store: it’s rest.
The definition of rest, according to education.yahoo.com here is:
- Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
- Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
- Sleep or quiet relaxation.
- The repose of death: eternal rest.
- Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.
- Mental or emotional tranquillity.
- Termination or absence of motion.
Looking through this list, how many times the past week have you been able to achieve the definitions cited in point 1, 2, 3 or 5 above? When I think of rest, I don’t only think of sleep. I also think of relaxing, having quiet time to contemplate my navel or meditate or watch clouds pass overhead. Resting to me is a time to let the worldly concerns go and just relax my mind and body. Which is tough to do in today’s fast paced culture. But rest is ever more important in today’s world. Most people do not even get the required 7-8 hours of sleep. Then they spend the day working on computers, meeting with other people, traveling and commuting, going to the gym or home to spend time with family. In all the hours we spend working and meeting outside obligations, rest is often confined to the hours of sleep we can sandwich into the rest of our lives. But studies show that rest is an important tool in our wellness arsenal. Napping is a common event in many cultures (just not in the U.S.!). Read more from my post on Daytime Naps here. And meditation is an effective way to rest our minds as well.
NASA is currently doing a study on how bed rest effects human subjects in space travel. Read more about the study here.
While I rest, read more great articles on rest:
• The vital importance of rest here.
• Give your immune system a rest here.
• The effects of sleep deprivation on brain and behavior here.
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