How Rest Is The Antidote To Being Overwhelmed!

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Thanks so much for dropping in here. I’m excited to start a series of blog posts all about Rest!

You might picture rest as just sleeping. Or you might think it’s a waste of time!

I’d like to help you see that Rest is powerful. It’s the most important antidote to becoming overwhelmed, exhausted, or even burned out.

And we’re going to start with looking at how good we are at noticing when we become tired?
Some people are very tuned in to this, and some people aren’t.

Noticing if we are tired

Let’s create a scale, where you give yourself a rating from 1 to 10. Where 1 means that you don’t notice at all. Like you can be really tired and you’re completely oblivious to it.
And 10 means that you notice really, really early signs of tiredness.

So if you had to give yourself a mark by instinct, where would you go from one to 10?

I would say for me in normal circumstances, it’s up at eight or nine, I really notice the early things. I’ll notice that I’m not thinking as clearly or, you know, getting a little cranky or something like that.

I should qualify that I don’t always notice my own tiredness. There are times when I’m really engaged in something and my awareness can go. And I just keep driving and driving and driving.

Or I’ll find myself doing things like saying, “I’m really tired”. Or even I’ve caught myself recently saying “I’m exhausted”. I’m actually saying the words, but I’m not paying any attention to them! Have you ever found this?

Then going a little more deeply. What are the signs that you notice? Like, what signs do you notice when you’re becoming tired? And this is really personal. This is very different for different people.

It’s worth pausing for a moment to consider what the signs of tiredness are for you.

So how can you tell when you’re becoming exhausted or tired? What are the signs for you?

Maybe it’s noticing that you are becoming irritated and cranky.

I wonder, are there even earlier signs that you need rest that you could notice?

Finding it difficult to concentrate or to remember things?

Getting tired, and then not wanting to do something that we normally would want to do, or that we know is really nourishing, but we’ve lost the energy to do it.

I always notice my thinking gets a little less clear. And this isn’t always in the evening, sometimes if I’m working in the afternoon I’m just not able to see things as clearly, which usually is a signal for me.

When you’re tired, are you more drawn towards sugar?

Do you catastrophize? Starting to imagine that things can go really badly…

Do you notice tiredness in the body? For me my shoulders get tight, what are the signs for you?

There are lots of subtle hints that the body sends us. Like when I go sea swimming fairly regularly and when I’m tired I really feel the cold more!

What is coming to mind for you around tiredness?

If you are realizing that you tend to miss all the early signs, that’s ok! That’s where Mindfulness practice comes in.. it helps us to become more aware of what is happening and more skillful in knowing what we need.

Ok, hopefully, that has helped you to tune into to how aware (or how unaware!) you are about assessing your own need for rest.

Our next posts about RESt

In the next post, I’ll introduce something called the “Exhaustion funnel”. This will help us to understand the steps along the way to exhaustion. We don’t need to end up exhausted of course, and by recognizing the signs that we are heading that way we can make adjustments to avoid it.

I will share a breathing practice called “resting in the breathing”.

We will look at the idea that we can experience life in two different modes “Doing mode” and “Being mode” and I’ll help you become more able to drop into that more enjoyable state of just being!

And then finally, we’ll look to develop our own personal rest strategies.

So, by the end of this series of blogs, you’ll have a really clear idea of how important rest is and the types of rest that work for you.

Looking forward to sharing next weeks post,

Take care,

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Keith Horan

Keith Horan

Keith has been teaching Mindfulness for over 20 years in the West of Ireland where he lives with his wife and three children.
He is trained both in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and in the practices of Modern Secular Mindfulness. He has an MSc in Mindfulness-based Approaches from Bangor University in North Wales.
Keith teaches in a gentle and encouraging way and helps people to find balance and more self-acceptance in their lives.

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