“Get your f**king ass up and work,” says Kim Kardashian when asked about her best advice for women in business. Meanwhile, a poster in a co-working space flashes the words “Work hard, play harder.” On social media, an influencer snaps a picture of her morning cup with the caption, “Rise and grind.”
We’ve all seen these, and you’re not at fault for believing these things. From a young age, we’ve been taught that the only way to make it big is hard work, and we only earn the right to rest if we grind hard enough. Even the pandemic has not slowed us down. A 2021 study by the ADP Research Institute revealed that we put an average of 9.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week compared to 7.3 hours a year ago. Studies also show that busyness and lack of leisure time have become a status symbol and a badge of honor.
But while being busy and ticking off lists can feel good at the moment, overwork can have long-term physical and psychological consequences, and taking a pause is vital to refuel and strengthen ourselves.
"Rest/pause is important, it’s the only time we get to replenish and allow the entire body to regenerate all of its energy. Science backs this up," says Tonette Asprer, co-founder of V432 Wellness.
"We're human beings and we get tired. Rest is what you do when you're tired," adds psychologist Meg Yarcia of Dear Meg.
Completely escaping the “hustle” is not a one-time thing. Most of us do not have a choice in the matter, especially in a country where job quality has continued to worsen. However, we have control over how we honor ourselves by weaving pockets of rest in our lives. Let us guide you with these simple ways to practice rest every day.
Take small breaks from work
No matter how much you have on your plate, do not skip taking breaks at work. Breaks are essential in quieting and refocusing your mind. Listen to your body while you work. Are you thirsty? Step away from your desk and quench yourself. Sitting for too long? Allow your body to rest and stretch for a bit. Staring at the screen for hours? Spend a quiet moment looking at nature or outside your window. Whenever you feel weary, give the body the rest it needs.
Listen to calming music
Science has proven that music profoundly affects the mind and body. When we listen to music, we release the hormones serotonin and oxytocin, which can improve our mood, release tension, and aid in better sleep.
Try creating a playlist of sounds that you can easily access whenever you need to decompress your mind. Here's a Pahin(g)a Spotify playlist we've created for you!
If you’re feeling up to it, try exploring sound therapy or sound healing sessions. These sessions are tailored to ease your emotional and physical well-being using gongs, singing bowls, tuning forks, and more. Sound healing can also relieve anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation.
"Sound and music is such a powerful yet gentle tool for us to pause/rest and heal effortlessly and gracefully," shares Tonette. "Focusing and listening to music intended for healing and rest will definitely entrain you to its intentional vibrations of relaxation and ease."
Rest from social media
Social media is a double-edged sword. It lets us connect with others and access information, but it can also cause depression and stress. Designed to be addictive, social media activates our brain to release dopamine, making us feel good whenever we interact with others or someone likes our posts. However, it becomes unhealthy when we start measuring our self-worth and sense of belonging based on our online feedback.
Going cold turkey from social media may be a daunting task. You may feel anxious and disconnected at first, but it’s better for our mental health, sleep, and decreasing levels of anxiety.
Resting from social media makes us more in tune with our emotions. It helps us develop and regain social skills, such as picking up social cues and expressions, which we have unlearned when we spend most of our waking hours on our screens.
Keep a journal
When we have so much thoughts in our head, writing can help slow down and quiet the mind. A journal is where we can decompress and process our past experiences, feelings, and worries. Writing down allows us to process these things analytically to respond to them appropriately and move forward.
Maull Purcell, a journaling expert and psychotherapist, says writing using pen and paper triggers our brain's reticular activating system region (RAS), enabling us to focus and filter information.
To keep a journal more manageable, you can start by picking a specific journaling time each day, but you can sometimes skip it if you don’t feel like doing it. Feel free to express yourself as creatively as you like—whether writing, painting, or more.
Journaling is a safe space where you get to know yourself through your thoughts, fears, and emotions. It is one step to cultivating a kinder, more grateful, more self-forgiving you.
As Meg puts it, "Journaling is one way to find a still point in a world that's always turning."
Lean into rest with the Pahin(g)a journal [shop it here]
Rest takes many shapes, and these are just some simple ways to undo and heal the effects of years of overwork. What we do and practice every day says a lot about how we honor ourselves. So take time to pause whenever you can; you are always worth the quiet moment.
If you’re looking for new ways to rest, join us in Pahin(g)a: Paghilom Gamit ang Himig at Pagsulat—a free online sound healing and journaling session on April 9, 2-5 pm via Zoom. Let sound healer and wellness guide Tonette Asprer and psychologist Meg Yarcia guide you in your journey of rest.
To join for free, scan the QR code below or click here: bit.ly/3JIv55W.
Words by Monica Antonio / Layout by Ky dela Torre / Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash