The importance of rest

Friday 27 January

Nobody talks about the value of allowing yourself rest and recovery days. Whether you’re an athlete or not, rest days are vital for mental health recovery as well as physical recovery.

For so long I didn’t “allow myself” days where I barely move from my bed. I feared being ill for this reason exactly. Days where I don’t move that much used to scare me, but now I’ve learnt why they are so important.

In this society, it is drilled into us that we must be productive every day and if we are not, we have failed. We seek validation and acceptance.

As a student, this feeling often comes into force. I’m sure a lot of students feel this way – on the days where we lack motivation and want to do nothing but sleep.

You are allowed those days! Not every day can be all hustle and bustle. We are allowed breaks and time off. If some days you don’t feel like doing work, going to your lectures etc, don’t feel the pressure to do so. You can permit yourself this much-needed time off.

Today I have spent the day in bed watching TV since I have come down with tonsillitis. Even two months ago, the idea of that would freak the hell out of me. When I was ill in the past, I wouldn’t allow myself a day off to recover and spend the day eating soup in bed with Netflix. Thus, I’d be ill for many more days and feel so rubbish about it. I’d force myself to go to the gym and get work done. Now, I am beyond that.

I have enjoyed the time off, with hope that tomorrow I’ll wake up feeling much more refreshed, albeit not quite 100%. However, if I don’t feel good tomorrow either, I’ll just take another day off because that’s fine too.

Here’s a reminder that it’s ok to have days where you do nothing, nothing at all. If you want to have a lie in, do it! We’re young and we deserve it before we start 9-5s and our chance is gone.

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