“Slowing down has often been described as “lazy” or unnecessary…”


The Importance of Rest

By Rachel Jensen, MC, PsyD


What I have found throughout my time in the mental health field is that many people in the world equate or have learned to equate their productivity to their worth. It is common that these individuals will take on many tasks and activities that fill their time and mind so they are able to feel valuable in the world or to certain people. These activities can be emotionally, mentally, or physically taxing for each person and yet they continue to participate with little to no time for themselves to recuperate; just constantly going and doing.

Rest has not been modeled or considered positive for many. In fact, slowing down has often been described as “lazy” or unnecessary by many clients who have come through my office. With this perception, these people are consistently depleting themselves—leaving them left to give and do none of the activities and tasks they hope to.

It seems that we can’t really give what we don’t have. So, if we hope to give our greatest effort/energy in all that we do, it is likely that we will need to rest to show up in the ways we want. This can be achieved by taking time to check in with our needs, be present to our emotions, and truly find times/ways to REST. Rest can look different for each person—it can be emotional, physical, spiritual, social, mental, sensory, or creative rest.

This can look like lying in bed/taking a nap, participating in meditation, being in nature, taking time away from social activity, pausing use of television or social media, and more.

It is my hope that the skewed perception that someone is not productive if they choose to take time for themselves or engage in restful behaviors can be debunked and the concept of rest can continue to be reframed as a helpful tool and positive activity for those that need it most.

Rachel holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) from Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ where she received a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology (M.A.).


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