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Why REST is the key to productivity

In a world where we see such emphasis on productivity, it can feel difficult to give ourselves the space to rest. Rest is VITAL to our longevity, productivity, and our health.

I've learned that lesson the hard way several times over the years. At times when I was sick, instead of letting my body rest and heal naturally, I popped some medicine (Dayquil, Sudafed, Advil, etc.) which masked the symptoms so I could continue to push through without resting. The result was a prolonged illness, which at the two-week point doctors assumed was bacterial (most cases, it wasn't) and then I was prescribed antibiotics. (Which then wrecked my gut, but I'll leave that for another post).

Point is - it can turn into a vicious cycle if you don't give yourself the space to rest. In the end, my productivity lacked because I wasn't properly resting.

So, what does science have to say about the benefits of rest? Turns out, a lot!

  • Rest reduces stress: Stress creates havoc with our physical and emotional health. "A growing body of evidence shows that "...skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion." - Inc.

  • Rest lowers the risk of heart disease: "studies show that time sitting, as most of us do at work, influences inflammatory markers even absent elevated blood glucose, obesity or heart disease." - Inc.

  • Rest boosts your immune system & reduces inflammation: "Chronic stress also depresses your immune system. Conversely adequate sleep and exercise are two of four essentials of boosting your immune system." - Inc.

  • Rest restores your mental energy: Studies show "that people who do not know how to detach from work during their off time experience increased exhaustion over the course of one year and are less resilient in the face of stressful work conditions." - Brain world magazine

  • Rest boosts creativity: "Reflective time is critical to producing solutions and creative breakthroughs." - Creative Review

All of these factors help us to be even more productive - if that's your goal!

There's a reason ancient religions and cultures called for one day of rest a week. So let's normalize, honor and even CELEBRATE resting!

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