Intentional Rest

I’m finally sitting down for the first time today. The stage of life I’m in right now can be broken down into two words: preteen and toddler. My life revolves around making sure my kids stay alive, eat healthy, are entertained, building healthy relationships, and are grasping key developmental material. Whew! Many of you can relate. At the end of the day there seems to be no time for yourself. For many of us, just taking care of children doesn’t encompass half the things we need to concentrate on during the day.

With all that said, self-care is extremely important and is also one of my favorite topics. It’s something we all struggle with. At the end of the day most of us just want to sit down and watch T.V. until its time to go to bed. But does that really help us rest?

I’ll try not to be boring but here’s a quick lesson on stress. Most of us have heard of the pesky hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is the flight or fight hormone and its necessary and important. Cortisol rises in our system when we sense impending stress or danger. After the threat is over the levels of  cortisol go back down to normal levels. However, most of us today have cortisol levels that never go back down and have found a new baseline that remains high.

When cortisol stays high in are systems the rest of our hormones become disregulated which can lead to increase fatigue, heart problems, weight problems and so on…

I’ve made up the term intentional resting. What that means is our rest times are thought out, planned, and made a part of our daily routine. We have to retrain our bodies to lower our cortisol levels, increase our pleasure hormone-dopamine, and slow our heart rates. Watching T.V. for hours on end doesn’t necessarily do this for us (I know, sad face!).

Ask yourself: “Do I really even know how to relax?” My answer to the question for the longest time was no. I’d wake up never feeling rested. Even when I would “rest” it never felt like enough.

Now I use a self-care assessment to help me think through my weak areas. I want to share it with you so that you can, like me, figure out exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie when it comes to self-care. It’s a blueprint for pinpointing key strategies you can work on immediately.

Here’s the link to the assessment: https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/content/dam/socialwork/home/self-care-kit/self-care-assessment.pdf

Follow the directions. Choose your lowest scores from each category and make one goal each for this week towards increasing the number. If you’re a counselor or in the helping profession this is a great tool I use with clients!

If you’d like some accountability or company share your scores and goals on this page so I can follow along with you!

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten my “31 List”…More on that tomorrow.

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