Taking Care of You Through Rest


By Atrium Specialist Counsellor Karin Brauner

You’ve probably heard the phrase “rest or your body will make you rest”. As someone who believes that self-care is not selfish, but actually essential, I take this very seriously.

Have you had times when you’ve been pushing through the tiredness and worked a lot more than you know you should have, and when it comes to resting, it’s hard to switch off, or it feels like there’s never enough resting time?

Have you also had times when you had to get signed off by your doctor, or had to call in sick because your body has just given out on you?

I bet it hasn’t been fun, and you probably don’t want to re-visit those times, right?

Here are some tips to help you find the rest you need – even when things are really busy with life and work:

  1. Make sure you get up from your desk, stretch and go and get some fresh air every once in a while. Even a few minutes every few hours will make a difference.
  2. Take your lunch break seriously – don’t eat and work. Give yourself time to replenish with healthy food and give yourself a break from thinking about all the stuff you have to do. After all, that’s why these times are there.
  3. Listen to your body when it tells you it’s tired, or it’s thirsty, hungry, or something else. Some days you’ll need more breaks than others. Do what you need to do to keep going during the work day.
  4. Find activities during your free time that will help you regroup, refresh and be ready to get up and do it again the next day. Things like going for a walk in a park, at the beach, or in nature in general. Take a book with you and put your electronics away for as long as you can manage.
  5. Set clear boundaries with those around you when you need time for yourself. They might not necessarily like it, but it will benefit you and keep resentments at bay.

These things will keep you in check, and help to prevent burn-out or having to call in sick, or get signed off because you left your self-care and resting until it was too late for you to carry on with life as usual.

To sum up, be kind to yourself and listen to what your body needs. Sometimes a 5-minute break might be enough. Other times a whole week or two off might be needed. Both are OK to ask for and to give yourself.