The importance of rest is often overlooked.
How often do we find respite for ourselves, our children, and our families? As an OT, my focus is occupation, or doing. Yet, we must consider the importance of simply being. While I often consider being as part of relationships, there is a greater role of being within oneself in the moment that it is part of rest. One could argue that rest is, in itself, an act of doing, certainly dependent on the circumstances. Rest, therefore, exists on a continuum.
Rest offers a pause in the rhythms of life, a time to recuperate from everyday living. Rest offers slowed pace to the balance of work, self-care and leisure, premises on which occupational therapy was founded.
Rest is fundamental for all.
Rest allows a settling of the body, and the mind, and the heart. The time to pause may in fact be a time to ponder life and love, or to simply “be” within oneself, fully present.
Deep rest may be found in prayer or meditation. Looking on a still fresh crystal white snowy day while having a warm cup of tea may induce a sense of tranquility or a quiet within oneself. Actively resting may exist in an embodied togetherness around a table, an afternoon nap outside noting the warmth of the sun, reading a captivating book, or stargazing. Rest may simply be 5 deep breaths hidden in a bedroom amidst daily chaos of scuffles, children underfoot or teenagers’ antics.
Yet, rest can be most difficult for many, including children whose bodies find it uncomfortable. Rest for them can be fitful and restless; for others, a fearful state similar to a shut-down. Certainly, achieving rest is more actively a process in these circumstances. Of a similar note are respite opportunities which may be limited, but are essential to life for families who have caregivers and who encounter both physical and emotional strain of life’s events. Stress may cause one to enter into a daze and then, a sheer collapse into rest. We work together for rest to be a good place, a safe place, a habitual place, for our children and families and ourselves.
The importance of rest cannot be overstated. We need rest. It has the potential to rejuvenate us for the road ahead, nourish our nervous systems, allow for the suspension in time to cherish one another, or simply to find peace in the moment.
Whatever rest is, no matter where you are in life’s journey, for yourself, your child and your family, take time to include rest, not as an exception, but as a staple within your everyday lives.
Author: Stacy Sue Rosello, MA, OTR/L
Founder, Embrace the Child, ® Ltd.
Editor: Grace Anne Rosello, BA
Copyright © 2021 Stacy Sue Rosello