Whether it’s a literal day off from exercise or a mental rest day (usually these two go hand-in-hand), rest days are so important for our wellbeing.
For some people, it helps to schedule a ‘rest day’ into the week – for a lot this may be a Sunday. I agree with this method, as you can build up to that day at the end of the week and fully recuperate before the Monday comes around. However, I am a big stan for listening to your body and giving it rest when your body requires it. Or blend the two together. If you know that one day in the coming week, you’re not going to have time to get a workout in, or your having a fun day with the family or friends, perhaps tell yourself, “ok that day I won’t exercise, and I’ll just have a good day with my friends”. That usually works for me.
The general message here is to just go with the flow. No one can get by without rest days – especially MENTALLY. It’s easy to just have a day off physically (well, not for me, but that’s a different story). Understand and recognise when your body and mind can’t handle much more, and have a bath, watch a film, and take the time off your body and mind craves so much.
It’s also important to know that some weeks, you may need more than one or two days off. You might need a whole week off! To really get in touch with your body and recognise this is so important nowadays, as it can be really easy to get swept away with all the buzz of our lives and forget that we need to prioritise ourselves foremost.
So, as it is a Sunday, and I go back to university tomorrow after spending a good few days with my family, I am taking a physical and mental day off. I am going to immerse myself with my family and enjoy the last day in the sun here on holiday and just soak it in (yes, the sun but also the day). I will push through those feelings of guilt of not doing a fat lot today and simply exist in the here and now.