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True Rest Days: A guide to nurturing your whole self

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

While the chill in the air is a welcome sign of Fall, it also brings seasonal sickness and plenty of stress. When people think of self-care activities, most imagine face masks, Netflix binges, and ordering your favorite food. While these can be a much needed break, grounding yourself and connecting with what type of rest your body needs is essential to a true rest day. 

Retrain your brain

In reframing your thinking around self-care in terms of physical, social, spiritual, and creative rest, you can reconnect with yourself and nourish your body. By creating self-care time, you can feel revitalized and ready to jump back into your day with added energy. A way to get started would be to set a timer for 5 minutes and brain dump all of the things you’re feeling and sensing within. This can be done with journaling, on a post-it, or a personal reflection through a mini meditation. 

Physical rest

When thinking about physical rest, it is best to take it literally and consider how you are resting your body. This may include sleeping for hours or taking time to stretch and feel where you need respite. If you sit a lot during the day, maybe your rest is taking a walk outside or doing some yoga to get back in the flow. Physical rest also pairs nicely with nourishing your body with whole foods to foster healing and overall wellness.

social & sensory rest

A true rest time allows you to disconnect from tech even if for a little while. It is all about finding what fits you best, so this may be staying off your phone for a few hours or completely unplugging from TV, computer, iPads, etc. for the rest of your day. The key with this is allowing your brain to quiet, process, and rest as opposed to introducing new stimuli constantly. Another idea is to do activities you enjoy with friends and taking time to talk, be present and foster connection with others who bring joy and love into your life. 

spiritual rest

While social and physical rest can be easy to pick up on when you need a break, finding your style of soul rest encompasses what is happening within. Take a moment to breathe and imagine a center of light within you. When you are constantly on the go this light is dimmed as you expend energy, in coming back to yourself and your soul you bring this light back. In thinking about activities for this rest, you should personalize, whether that’s meditation, prayer, going to a spiritual center, or connecting with a group of others who fill your cup. 

creative rest

Although you may be thinking, Why would I want to rest from being creative? this type of rest means taking the time to restore and inspire yourself. This could be knitting, crocheting, painting, drawing, or whatever mode of creativity sparks your interest. A tip is to think of this as play time to explore and open your mind in ways you may not have thought of before.

Remember you deserve rest and it will always help in the long run to take the time for your self-care. Follow what feels good, find your balance, and be compassionate towards yourself when life crazy happens.

Spring Olivares

Illinois '24

Hi there! I’m Spring. I’m an MSLIS Graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I write on topics from life advice to studying to decoration tips to road trips and everything in between. As a student who went to three undergraduate universities, I hope my experiences can provide some helpful insight and perspective on how to navigate university life and beyond. In my personal life, I cuddle with my cat Lucy, travel, read, write poetry, watch shows and movies, collect antiques, play video games, and do all sorts of crafting. I’m a fun loving, adventurous, and caring human who just wants to help others on this journey of life. Welcome to it all :)
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