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How Do You REST?

Updated on October 16, 2009

Releasing Every Stressful Time

There is a lot of talk about REST. Doctors prescribe it. My BFF strongly suggest it. My sisters and mother demand it. My daughters remind me of it. My husband insist upon it. My doctor emphasize to release stress I must find quiet time. REST is not an option. It's a way to improve our health.

I was a workaholic for over 30 years. Yes, it's like being an alcoholic except working fiercely all the time. I used to pride myself in getting two to four hours of sleep each night. It was well known the average number of hours for sleep was seven to eight. In the corporate world, I chose to be in the 5 o'clock club which meant getting up at 5:00 a.m., getting dressed while preparing breakfast for my children and getting them dressed to take to school. Long hours would have me lighting the mid-night oil lamp to prepare for a work project and/or complete college assignments after bathing the children and putting them to bed with a bedtime story and prayer. This was the beginning of a lifetime pacesetter...on the know and on the go...mentally and physically.

At a doctor's appointment, I told my physician most of my stress was good stress. He sternly corrected me saying, "There's no such thing as good stress. All stress is bad." Since I enjoyed working and stretching myself to the limit. I thought the excited energy I exerted when planning and implementing projects for training and developing leaders was good stress. I was battling a skin rash and was leaving his office to go to a large conference in Long Beach, California. He saw the excited stress in me and suggested giving me tranquillizers to control the effects stress had on the rash. I refused to take the prescription and haven't been back to that longtime family dermatologist. He was correct in advising me that the stress I was experiencing wasn't good. However, he gave me bad advice to get on tranquillizers. I started looking for other ways to control stress as I searched for a new physician. Yet, even then, REST was not an option.

Working long 60 to 70 hour weeks to climb the corporate ladder and taking advantage of corporate educational tuition-paid program, required me to stretch my limits physically and mentally. Over time, corporate management and a business degree in marketing and management were achieved. REST was not an option.

It was all about being a super woman. One who could raised a family, be ready for romance with my husband, maintain an impeccable home, always in school or training to be a "pro", and exercising and dieting to look like a model while making my life look effortless with a smile.

Ambitious was another buzz word. To outdo my colleagues, I was overly ambitious. I thrived to be the leader of the pack and emphasized to do as I do for success. Goals and objectives were set every year at work and home. Being task oriented was putting it mildly for me. There was always something to do on and off the many lists. REST was not an option.

To me REST represented laziness, slowing down, postponement of my hectic schedule, less things I would accomplish on my To Do List for the day, not accomplishing my goals. I worked to be just the opposite of REST by always being on the go, "multi-multi-tasking," and literally running my thoughts both day and night. On my nightstand were recorders and note pads to capture new ideas and listened to motivational tapes like one would enjoy a musical cd. All of this has changed now that my health is poor due to lack of REST.

REST - What does it spell?

R= Releasing

E = Every

S= Stressful

T= Time

Releasing Every Stressful Time requires a lot of effort. I pray for REST in my mind and body. Scheduling time to release the stress that grew at out-of-control levels is exhausting and requires a focus I'm slow at learning. Especially since I always felt it was a waste of productive time. REST is the antidote to the condition (Polymyalgia Rheumatica - PMR) which I struggle with today. . My inflamed blood cells are a direct result of not Releasing Every Stressful Time. REST is a necessary option.

Now I work on choosing REST everyday. Sometimes I get it in. Sometimes I don't. It's good to have family and friends to help me focus on the one antidote that will help cure the workaholic state-of-mind that's trapped me in a body of pain as a result of not making REST a priority throughout my life.

How Do You REST?

Schedule in the time. Write it on your planner. Write it on your To Do List. Put it at the top of all lists. Stop and sit down for 10 to 15 minutes. Lay down and stretch out your body being still for 15 to 30 minutes. Go into your innermost self and allow your spirit to connect and align with God's Spirit. There will be times when you'll need to REST longer than others. Schedule long and short REST periods. REST is a lifetime choice. It's a prerequisite to good health.

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