It is relatively easy to lose sight of the importance of sleep. After all, society places great emphasis on almost everything but rest.
Work, earnings, and corporate upward movement are often at the forefront of many American priorities. Arguably, contemporary society places too little concern on mental health, wellness, and recovery.
However, you can prioritize your wellness by making sure that you get enough rest. The overall correlation between mental health and sleep is vast. A lack of sleep can often explain why your physical and mental health may not be up to par.
Ask Yourself Questions Concerning Your Work and Rest Balance
Are you getting enough sleep? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I feel rested in the mornings?
- What are my current priorities, if not adequate sleep?
- Do I have a sufficient work-life balance?
- Am I tired during the day?
- What do I think about at night before going to bed?
- Do these thoughts prevent me from falling asleep?
- Do these thoughts keep me up for a significant amount of time?
If you have trouble answering any of these questions, taking an inventory of how much rest you are getting may be helpful. It may also help to explain how you are feeling during the day.
Are you moody or irritable? Do you feel unable to complete tasks? Listening to your thoughts and body during minimal rest is essential.
Possible Reasons Why You May Fail to Prioritize Rest
#1. You Associate Rest With Laziness
Rest and relaxation are necessary components of life. They are aspects that everyone needs, regardless of lifestyle. Seeking rest is not congruent with laziness or a lack of desire to be productive.
The amount of rest you seek may indicate just how little rest and sleep you get. Try to deter your mind from internalizing toxic work and hustle culture.
It is helpful to consider how you are aiding your body by prioritizing rest. Maybe researching the benefits of adequate rest may motivate you to get more sleep. You are just as effective and meaningful when you are taking time for yourself.
Rest and sleep prioritization, if anything, will allow you to be more effective during times of high productivity. Chronic lack of sleep can have a harmful impact on your brain, physical body, and overall mental health.
#2. You View Rest as a Reward as Opposed to a Requirement
Rest, particularly sleep, is arguably one of the most critical aspects of our functionality. Try not to view rest as a reward. Rid yourself of arbitrary milestones and accomplishments; they speak very little to who you are and can complicate your mental health.
It may initially be difficult, but you should view rest as a priority because it is one. It is essential to your productivity and health. You are worth far more than your tangible accomplishments.
Attempt to rest when you desire to rest, when you feel tired, and when you have had enough. Putting the latter into practice communicates that you are only eligible for rest after giving all you have.
You should be getting a sufficient amount of rest every single day. There are no amount of accomplishments that can make you any more deserving of rest, adequate sleep, or taking time for yourself.
#3. You Believe That Other Aspects of Life Take Precedence Over Your Rest
When you fail to prioritize your own needs, you inadvertently become less effective in other areas of your life. Unfortunately, this is the mentality of many, as it becomes easy to place the needs of others over your own.
Understand that your need to unwind, take a break, or relax is integral to your mental health.
You may find it tempting to serve others continuously. However, your ability to show up for those you love will diminish the more you neglect your own needs.
The correlation between rest and behavior is large. Your needs are no less important than those of the people around you. It does not make you selfish, lazy, or neglectful to prioritize yourself.
Small Steps That You Can Take to Start Prioritizing Your Rest:
#1. Listen to Your Body
Are there specific times of the day when you feel the most tired? Are there particular people or places that drain your energy? How do you feel after spending time with certain friends?
What thoughts are ever present in your mind during certain activities? These are essential questions when attempting to lead a softer, less hectic lifestyle.
Your feelings and attitude when navigating your life matter. Try not to neglect those parts of yourself. If you find this area of your life particularly difficult, it may help to speak to a mental health specialist.
#2. Listen to Those Around You
How do your friends and family perceive your behavior? Lack of sleep, rest, and exhaustion or fatigue can easily bleed into other aspects of your life and impact your relationships. Take note of what those around you say about how you interact with them.
#3. Try a Sleep Schedule
It may seem infantilizing at first, but a sleep or rest schedule might breed the necessary discipline for you to obtain the rest you need. After all, every other aspect of your life commits to a schedule, your rest should not be any different.
At Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center, we understand that navigating life’s challenges may be complex, but it is never something you have to confront alone. If adequate sleep, rest, and relaxation are neglected, they will negatively impact you in the future. We offer resources, community, and treatment programs that will inevitably help you in the process of prioritizing your mental health.
Our facility provides trained staff who are well-versed in mental health issues and have your best interest at heart. If you are neglecting your sleep and rest or struggling with a mental health disorder, it may be time to seek help. Our staff and specialists are equipped to present you with a treatment plan to meet your needs. There is hope; call (714) 942-4143.