Mental Health

REST-PECT: linking self-respect and rest

When we find time to do the things that allow space for rest, we respect ourselves.

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Originally published October 17, 2018 on vibrantme.org. Republished here with permission. Get your blog featured!

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I started spelling the title for this blog, which was just going to be ‘REST’. As I did, the lyrics to the late and great Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” (sing it with me!), came into my head. Coincidentally (or not), the meaning behind her lyrics fit perfectly with the points I hope to make in this blog about rest and its importance in our lives. So, here we go.

Let me explain what I mean by REST-PECT.

It is widely agreed that one of our basic human needs is sleep; however, many of us are mistaken by thinking sleep equals rest.

Yes, sleep is required to regenerate us physically, mentally, and emotionally, and, if you know me, you know that I do not mes around with my 8 hours each night.

But I also believe that rest is defined much differently than the hours we spend in dream-land.

Rest is the time we spend doing the activities that allow us to recharge our souls.

Rest is found in the things that make us feel the most like ourselves and that generate our inner fires, providing us with intrinsic energy.

From this perspective, rest can be active or inactive, passive or interactive. Most importantly, though, it comes in different forms for everyone.

There are introverted forms of rest and extroverted forms. Some people are recharged through movement such as running, yoga, or team sports. Others rest through journaling, reading, or laying in the grass.

The key is to take stock of the ways in which you derive your energy.

Which parts of your day lights you up?

When do you feel you lose track of time?

What activities do you gravitate toward during your free time?

The bottom line is: we all need rest.

The DOing of tasks has a place in our lives. However, it is not only important but also necessary that we make sure to include things that we are excited about, that allow us to recharge, that allow us to be the most us.

This is where ‘REST-PECT’ comes in.

When we find time to do the things that allow space for rest, we respect ourselves.

We essentially announce to the world that we are worth investing time in and that we value maintaining our health.

Some ways that I have acknowledged rest in my life are:

  • at home yoga practice
  • walking in nature
  • writing in my journal
  • eating a nourishing meal
  • reading a book
  • reaching out to a friend
  • getting lost in a show on Netflix

I have these tools in my back pocket when I’m feeling drained.

I go to them and I allow myself to take time out of the busy world to treat myself, to recharge, and show up in the world as the best me I can be.

Article Photo by Helena Cook on Unsplash

Kirsten is a Certified Personal Trainer and Bootcamp Instructor who works mainly with a Plus-Size clientele. She is very passionate about guiding people to empower themselves through mindful movement and connection, to their bodies, to others, and to the world.


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