Happy Labor Day! Are you resting today? Historically speaking, Labor Day was created in 1894 to celebrate the “achievements and contributions” of American workers. Especially in a time where many had questionable or unfair working conditions, or were just worked hard, it was meant to be a well-deserved day off for the working class.
So, here we are…hopefully NOT working today. 😉
In the spirit of resting, it got me thinking of something I chatted about with Leks in a THRIVE episode:
“Rest is where the results happen.”
In context, Leks used to be an intense trainer, so it makes obvious sense in the realm of physical fitness. With the exception of the Energizer Bunny…you cannot go forever. You cannot lift weights every single day and expect to see desired results.
Well, you COULD…but it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. 😉 Because rest is where the results happen.
When you’re working out, there’s a reason experts recommend alternating when you’re focusing on muscle groups (like “leg day!” or “arms and back day!”), or taking a day between workouts altogether to recover. Because REST is when your muscles can rebuild and actually grow and strengthen after being broken down. The process of pushing your muscles to lift heavier things causes tears – and when your body repairs those tears (in rest), it repairs damaged muscles fibers by fusing them together, which in turn, makes them grow bigger and stronger.
If you just kept on going, though…your body wouldn’t have the time it needs to repair. More likely than not, you’d end up hurt – not helped.
Not only would you be more prone to injury – you might not sleep as well, and your immune system might take a hit. You’d start feeling moodier – and you’d end up producing MORE cortisol instead of less, which doesn’t do your body any good. You wouldn’t grow at the same pace…because in chasing short term success, you’d see long term slow down. You’d feel frustrated at how much work you’re putting IN, thinking you’re not seeing equivalent benefit coming OUT. And you’d be much, much more tired.
Beyond the gym, I think this is true with nearly anything in life.
For as much as me, the textbook Enneagram 3, would like to think I can absolutely do it all and then some with a smile – I cannot.
And neither can you.
It’s why stepping away from a computer screen after five hours of troubleshooting a work issue can suddenly bring about a new idea for how to fix. Putting down the manuscript and getting some fresh air can lift writer’s block. Giving yourself permission to watch your favorite show before tackling housecleaning can be just the motivation to get it done even faster than before – and more joyfully, too. Meditating or journaling or praying or reflecting on where you’ve been is what prepares you to get to where you’re destined to go.
Not just blindly or quickly going going going there – but resting along the way to ensure you’re still going the right pace in the right direction.
Rest is where the results happen.
I don’t think it’s talked about NEARLY enough, but for my fellow mamas in the house…you’re also allowed to rest AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS, too. (!!!) Actually, I think we NEED time to ourselves to recharge, refuel, and rejuvenate. Personally, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a better, happier, healthier mom to Liv when I get time to rest as a parent. Of course, it’s a privilege to be able to rely on J or have help sometimes from my parents to keep the boat afloat, and that’s not something I take for granted (like, ever).
But even if I didn’t…I know I would need to figure something out to get a moment of rest for ME, because when I show up for me, I show up better for my daughter and husband, too. Maybe that means letting them watch a show so that YOU can just drink a cup of coffee and chill – and that’s A-OK.
Giving yourself permission to rest is giving yourself permission to enjoy life beyond living it.
How are you resting today? Or this week?