Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love to nap and how essential I feel naps (and sleep) are. I am so passionate about sleep and encouraging everyone to nap and rest, especially mums.
I’m currently running a community group for mums who are feeling overwhelmed, Overcome the Overload. The purpose of that group is to improve mums wellbeing which has a massive impact on their children and their family and their community and the much wider society.
I wanted to talk about rest because it’s been something that within the group they are absolutely definitely having more rests they are looking after themselves an awful lot more. They are not feeling guilty about resting, re-charging, sleeping!!!
Why don’t we rest enough?
We often don’t rest enough because
- We feel guilty about it
- We’re always switched on and there’s always something to do – whether that’s something to do around the house, whether it’s something to do with work, whether it’s something else….there’s always something to do
- We don’t value the power of rest enough
- We might consider/believe it’s lazy
The impact of our phones
Often I think part of it is to do with our phones. I know myself when I go off to rest often I’ll sit on my phone for half an hour where I could be resting. It’s certainly something that I’ve seen with many of the women that I’ve worked with in the past.
The impact of not resting
Not resting has a huge impact on our lives because we get fatigued/exhausted. We are constantly over stimulated, we are constantly in the fight or flight response mode. We’re constantly in that nervous state rather than being in a calm response state. Having a constant stream of information and things to do, so even a thought of all the things to do and process, can start to put an action into our bodies even if you don’t need to respond to that moment in time. In addition, we struggle to sleep so not resting or being still can cause insomnia, issues with our bodily functions, overall stress levels and so much more.
The power of rest
When we allow our brains the opportunity to rest, it has a positive impact on increasing our energy levels. It improves our focus and our clarity, it has an impact on our bodily functions such as digestion. We had Annie Breen, Nutritional Therapist, in our Overcome the Overload on Monday night and she was talking about that and about how we need to mindfully eat. We need to slow our eating, we need to chew properly because all of these things improve our digestion and that’s something that we’re not very good at doing. Short, sharp power naps, can really help with our night time sleeps too as we feel more rested as we fall asleep rather than stressed out.
My own experience as a mum of four
I notice myself that when I take the opportunity to rest as a mum that I’m a much happier mum that I don’t snap as much, that I don’t feel overwhelmed. I know that if I take that rest at lunchtime that my dinnertimes are much calmer in our home. Whereas if I’ve been running around all day by dinnertime I feel quite frazzled and quite overwhelmed. I will quite often snap at the children, snap at my husband, I cannot wait for the day to be over. Whereas when I’ve had a rest during the day I’m much more likely to be the kind of mum that I want to be.
Here’s some ideas to help you rest
EFT – I love Emotional Freedom Technique. I think tapping is a really helpful tool that you can use to help lower your overall stress levels and increase that rest and restore nervous state that we should be in. You can now download some videos to get your started by clicking here – just 5 minutes a day can seriously reduce your stress levels.
Meditation and mindfulness are really helpful. There are loads of apps at the moment that you can use such as Insight Timer/Headspace/Calm and many more. The one that I use is Insight Timer, there’s millions of guided meditations in there that you can access. Some of them are five or 10 minutes and many more are are half an hour, 40 minutes. One of the things that I read many years ago about meditation is that for every minute that you meditate it’s like three minutes of sleeping in terms of how it impacts your body. Meditating for 10 minutes it has the same effect of sleeping for 30 minutes.
Obviously, having a proper nap (I LOVE POWER NAPS) will be of huge value to you.
Focus on your breathing. One of the favourite ways that I do it, because it’s got really good visual that comes with it, is looking at square breathing. You breathe in for four, hold your breath for four, breathe out for four and then hold your breath for four. Doing a few cycles of that will immediately lower your overall anxiety state and will make you feel much calmer.
I’m really delighted that Overcome the Overload community is reopening again in June. If you would like more information about that then do feel free to get in touch and I’m really happy to help you.
Much love, Tricia xxx