By Hayley Westoby. 

“In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”


For a regular traveler, the above phase is extremely familiar, it is the in-flight safety announcement prior to taking off. Read a little closer and it teaches us an amazing life lesson!


Rest is such a touchy subject, especially in this day and age of self-proclaimed entrepreneurs and influencers and the rise of small business owners. Social media today is inundated with “rise & grind”, “never stop hustling”, “never give up and never stop grinding”, “hustle 24/7 so you don’t have to slave 9-5” and so on. But I think the mentality of constantly ‘grinding’ needs to be destroyed. The whole psychology of constantly working in order to be successful when it comes to work, fitness or business is so wrong. We need to accept and embrace the concept that rest, recovery and reflection are the most essential parts of the process, for any process. We need to understand there is a big difference between focus & commitment when working towards your goals, and obsession & compulsive behavior which will end up having a negative impact on any process as well as your health & mental state.


If we look at training for example; Rest and/or recovery have always been important components in training, underpinning training theories of periodization, strength training, and super-compensation. Most athletes will know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still overtrain and feel guilty when they take a day off. Many people know that the body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest of athletes. Taking a rest day is critical to sports performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild, and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work, and fitness goals. In the worst-case scenario, too few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome—a difficult condition to recover from. It's about training consistently smart, not obsessively hard.


When we look at work, there are many businesses and individuals that believe you must always be working, ‘constantly grinding’ - and that you must be in that ‘entrepreneurial mindset’. This is especially true when you are running your own business or part of a new business. There is a lot of hard work, stresses, and pressures that come from running a new business, or any business for that matter especially if it is just YOU running it. Being able to perform and think clearly is essential when making important daily decisions for your business or your work. Unfortunately, through lack of rest your mental clarity and body functionality is the first thing to deteriorate, making you less productive, less efficient and ultimately less successful!


This ‘no days off’ mentality is so undeniably toxic. Sometimes it is perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back and do nothing. Resting is an investment in your quality of life, your quality of work and it ultimately defines the quality of your success. If you are tired don't quit, learn and teach yourself how to rest, properly.


Now I am not trying to tell you to rest every day, every week or every month, I am not telling you you need to have extravagant holidays or excessive yoga/health retreats what I am trying to say is be conscious of how you are feeling physically, emotionally & mentally. Being aware of how you feel and being able to adapt to it is a person's biggest asset/strength. Making sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself before you try and help others around you is the ONLY way to survive.


Invest in rest.


Types of rest you can invest in;

  • Get more high-quality sleep
  • Mix up your training with different activities, swimming, yoga or going for a walk
  • Take some time out for you - get a massage, facial or get your nails done
  • Make sure you are getting the right amount of calories and the right nutrition to look after your insides and most importantly your ability to recover
  • Take a day to switch off from technology, social channels and any form of electronic device
  • Spend time with people who make you happy
  • If you get up early or go to bed late, try sleeping in or getting an early night
  • Learn to say no to plans
  • Take a day off! One day won't make a difference!
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