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  • Writer's pictureRachel Brandwene, LCSW

Rest is not something we earn or deserve - it's a basic human need.

As a society, we often view rest as a luxury reserved only for those who have worked hard enough to earn it. But the truth is, rest is not something we earn or deserve; it's a basic human need. Just like we need food and water to survive, we need rest to thrive.


When we neglect rest, we put ourselves at risk for a whole host of physical, mental, and emotional issues. Our nervous system becomes overworked and overwhelmed, leading to chronic stress, anxiety, and even physical symptoms like headaches and muscle tension. And over time, this chronic state of stress can weaken our immune system and make us more vulnerable to illness and disease.

How can we prioritize rest in a culture that values productivity and achievement above all else? It starts with recognizing that rest is not a luxury but a basic human need. It's not something we earn or deserve, it's something we all need to thrive. Here are a few tips to help you prioritize rest in your own life:

  1. Change your mindset: Start by recognizing that rest is not a luxury, but a necessity. It's not something you have to earn or deserve, it's something you need to prioritize for your own health and well-being.

  2. Schedule rest breaks: Just like you schedule work meetings and appointments, schedule regular rest breaks throughout your day. This might mean taking a 10-minute break every hour to stretch and breathe, or taking a longer lunch break to go for a walk or engage in a relaxing activity.

  3. Engage in self-care: Self-care isn't just bubble baths and massages (although those can be nice too!). It's any activity that helps you feel rejuvenated and relaxed. This might mean spending time in nature, journaling, or practicing yoga.

  4. Set boundaries: Sometimes, prioritizing rest means saying no to other commitments. Be willing to set boundaries around work or social commitments, and communicate your needs with loved ones.

By prioritizing rest, we can support our nervous system and overall well-being, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life. If you're struggling to prioritize rest in your own life, know that you're not alone. By working with a somatic and trauma-trained practitioner, you can develop a personalized plan for rest and relaxation that fits your unique needs and lifestyle.

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