If you are a working person in 2023, you know that productivity is king in many facets of life. Your boss expects increases in productivity, and often we project high productivity within our personal lives when it comes to maintaining our social life, homes, families, etc. With all of the demands of everyday life, a person can begin to feel overwhelmed, and burnout can occure. The solution to this is very simple, but for many, it doesn’t seem possible. That solution is rest.
While the question of productivity vs rest came to light during the madness of 2020, it has been something bubbling up for a couple decades now. It’s almost become a question of “does taking time to rest make you a lazy person?” Our answer is no. You are a living breathing entity. Our bodies are not made to be worked to the bone day in and day out. It’s essential for not only our physical health, but our mental health, to be able to sit back and rest. Rest your body. Rest your mind. You are not a robot.
Why has rest become seen as a sign of weakness or laziness?
We live in a productivity obsessed culture. Taking breaks can make one feel lazy or immoral because that is valuable time that we could be dedicating to output. In fact, most people directly link their output or productivity to their worth as a person.
If you think about a day where you have nailed a presentation, closed a big deal, or made a really good proposal, you feel like you’re on top of the world. You have that sense that you’re a person of value, and worthy of your keep. On the other hand, days when you feel sluggish, your output may not be as high, and you can start to wonder why your boss keeps you around or that you’re just not good at whatever it is you do. So you end up pushing through those days to reinforce that you are valuable. This can become a toxic cycle if gone unchecked, and can lead to a decline, not of quantity, but the quality of your work.
Your brain is a muscle
If you’ve ever been to the gym, you know that between each workout, and even between each set within a workout, you need to plan time to rest that targeted muscle group. Biologically, it is essential to get the results you want. If you don’t take these breaks, your muscles deplete and you can’t eek out another rep. Your brain is no different. When you mentally extend yourself, your brain begins to slow down, and doesn’t make connections as easily as when it is “working fresh”. At this point, your work or your relationships begin to suffer. Just because you're producing, doesn’t mean you’re fully present, and it doesn’t mean what you’re producing is at a standard that is worthwhile.
Rest is essential to your brain so it can function properly.
It’s time to reframe the need for rest. It is not taking away productivity. It is enhancing your productivity! Whether your version of rest is a nap, a walk, taking a bath, reading a book or our personal favorite, Getting a massage; they are all in service to improved health, creativity and productivity. After all, even God took a day to rest!
A restful night's sleep is often something that can be elusive for many of us. Between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. It is believed between 30% and 48% of older adults experience insomnia. Many people simply acclimate to their situation, and live life constantly tired. While this may work for them, we don’t recommend it. Being well rested shouldn’t be unattainable for anyone. We’ve put together a list of some recommendations that we hope will help you get the rest you need so you may live a full, happy, WELL RESTED life!
Put yourself on a sleep schedule
This one seems obvious, but is it something you’ve tried? If so, do you close your eyes once you’re in bed, or do you find yourself scrolling social media?
I think that most parents, especially those with babies or young children, would agree that getting their children on a sleep schedule makes their lives easier. Not only does it help mom and dad get into a routine for themselves to accomplish their parental duties, it is vital if you want to curb those sleepy eyed temper tantrums from the little ones. Implementing a sleep schedule for yourself is doing the same thing, although we hope you’ve learned to manage your emotions a tad more than a toddler! Even so, adults can also get very cranky and short with others when not rested.
Seven hours is the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult. Most people don’t need more than eight hours to be well rested. If you can, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you find yourself not falling asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Pick up a book, and read a chapter. Listen to some calming music. Anything to help lull you into a sleepy state, and go back to bed. Repeat as needed, but maintain the sleep/wake up schedule you’ve set for yourself.
Pro tip: Cut off all electronic stimulation a half hour before your bedtime.
Monitor what you’re consuming throughout the day
Discomfort from either eating too much OR not having eaten enough could be keeping you awake.
Caffeine, alcohol, and even nicotine can also be major factors too. Stimulants can take hours to wear off, and are likely hindering your sleep, and while alcohol can make you sleepy at first, but when it metabolizes while you’re asleep it can wake you up.
Everyone’s experience will be different based on your history, but pay attention to your body, and make adjustments to see if they have any impact.
Your bedroom. Is it set up for rest?
The space where we sleep has a huge impact on how we sleep. Is your bedroom set up to be a place of rest, or is it chaotic? An ideal set up for your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Any light, or noises (except for white noise) can really mess with your ability to sleep. Our body temperatures naturally drop during sleep. A cooler room will assist in getting you to sleep, and more importantly, STAYING asleep. Light also has the same effect, especially if you’re not a heavy sleeper. Black out curtains can help eliminate as much light as possible. The condition you keep your room in is key as well. We’re not saying that it needs to be completely sterile, with everything in its place. We know that’s not realistic for everyone. However, it is hard to be restful surrounded by chaos. Tidy up your room and give it a try!
Make time for physical activity every day
If you have a job at a desk, or something that doesn’t require much physical exertion, you’re probably mentally tired by the time you get home, but not physically tired. It’s important to get your body moving. Sleep is meant to repair our bodies, however, if your body doesn’t need to be repaired from lack of activity, it might be cheating you out of valuable sleep time!
Try getting outside for a little while each day to move your body. It doesn’t have to be major. A half hour in the garden, maybe an hour long walk. Something to trick your body into being physically tired is what you’re looking for.
Are you a bedtime worrier?
If you’re like me, bedtime is when you tend to reflect on the day you just had, and start thinking about the day ahead. If your daily life is busy, you probably find yourself already worrying about tomorrow, and making a to-do list in your head while you're laying down waiting to go to sleep. In my experience, those thoughts can swirl around inside your head for hours on end. Work on those worries and concerns before bed. Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. Get them out of your head and onto paper so those thoughts are waiting for you when you wake up, but aren’t swirling around in your head while you try to fall asleep!
You may need some deeper stress management work as well. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety. A worried mind is hard to get to rest. Instead of kicking the can of stress down the road for tomorrow, do yourself a favor and deal with it today.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons that can be preventing you from getting the sleep you need and deserve! Try out a few of our suggestions to see if they could help you out! Just remember that your sleep habits are ingrained within your body, and whatever you try, give it a reasonable amount of time before trying the next thing.
Until our next blog, Take Care!
When was the last time you nurtured your spirit? We tend to focus a great deal of our energy and time nurturing the physical body through diet and exercise, but our spiritual health is often forgotten, ignored, or pushed to the back of our minds when we need to focus on something else.
What Is Spiritual Self-Care?
Spirituality has different meanings for everybody, usually influenced by the ideologies you grew up with. Many associate spirituality with religion or cultural traditions. Observing rituals, attending religious services or ceremonies, and studying religious texts are types of spiritual self-care for billions of people around the world.
For others, the concept of spirituality is experienced in nature, in personal relationships, or within oneself. It could be through art, music, and dance; anything that is meaningful and kindles a sense of sacredness, even if only felt by the individual.
Spirituality is a personal practice. No matter what path is chosen, they all converge upon something you desire on some level—the need for connection, purpose, and happiness.
Not only does springtime thaw the earth around us, but it also thaws our bodies. The changing of seasons can bring out unique aches and pains. This transition between seasons is a good time to add massage into your self care routine. A deep tissue massage combines deeper pressure massage techniques for health improvement, easing any muscle discomfort you may be experiencing.
We’re always told to lift with our legs and not our back. Lifting with our legs helps lessen the strain on our back. However, lifting isn’t the only time we can work on minimizing the strain on our back. In our day-to-day lives, we need to be more aware of our body positioning. Just like Barbie, if we keep our backs straight and work on bending at the pelvis, we can improve our back pain.
It is important be healthy and take care of your body. Two things most people think of when discussing a healthy lifestyle is their diet and fitness routine. These things are both important parts of living a healthy life, but how does massage fit in?
If you plan on getting a massage pre-workout, it is suggested that you go for a light massage. A light massage helps warm up the muscles and makes them more flexible. However, if you plan on working out after a deep tissue massage, you might want to think again. This can lead to increased soreness, and it can inhibit the effectiveness of the tissue work done during your massage.
There are five major benefits to post-workout massages:
It’s that time of year again, Back-to-School, and Boo is getting ready to continue his education in the office. Education and proper certifications are always primary goals at Living Touch Massage. It is important to Rita that she practices the most current and accurate techniques in the massage industry. It is so important to her practice that she goes above and beyond required certifications and learns specific techniques to help clients with a variety of conditions. Continuing her education and maintaining her certifications allows her to meet the needs of a broader range of clients and truly make an impact on their lives. From her education, she gains increased knowledge, a better understanding of old and new techniques, and an increased skill level. This helps her create the best possible experience for her clients.
Rita is currently nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. To have received this certification, she must demonstrate a mastery of core skills and knowledge, pass an NCBTMB standardized exam, uphold the organization’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, as well as continue her education.
Rita is already experienced and trained in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Myofascial massage and release, therapeutic, relaxation, restorative, prenatal, and chair massage. For more information on all specialties, view all Our Services.