How Rest Resides in Our Lives

Author Claudia Hammond allows us to take a step back from this vastly paced world and explores how to find rest within a restless world.

By Klaudia Wiacek

Photo Credit: Amazon

Have you ever heard someone say, “a good night’s rest can help change the way you function throughout the day?” 

Now imagine the use of a resting technique such as sleep, but in different forms that can be applied throughout your life to maintain a healthy balance.

Rest is a vital part of our lives as it decompresses negative emotions/feelings and relaxes our constantly working, tired bodies and minds. Without rest, our body and brains would slowly begin to wither, lacking necessary strength in the face of various health problems. 

In her book, “The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age”, author Claudia Hammond dives deep into the topic of rest and specifically how to find rest within a restless world. 

The times that we live in are constantly hectic and filled with mass amounts of stress, work, and overall chaos, which can make it seem impossible for people to find time to truly decompress in the modern age.

Throughout her book, Hammond explains how the word rest can mean different things to people, which is a vital point. A lot of her research is referenced from a survey called “The Rest Test”, which Hammond distributed to the public to garner their responses.

The Rest Test asked a series of questions and, most prominently, asked what rest meant personally to the person taking the test. 

While reading the book, I found it fascinating to go through the lists of activities people deemed to be their most effective form of rest. Activities such as mindfulness, talking a walk, residing in nature, proper sleep, taking small breaks throughout the day, spending time alone and even watching tv were noted as some of their go-to techniques to relax. 

Watching TV, when used compulsively, has been said to be a negative habit. 

However, Hammond explains that with the right usage, it’s not as bad as it’s portrayed and works as a decompressor of stress for some people. It allows the mind to wander off for a bit. 

The main idea that stood out to me was that rest is personal and not always general; there are things that work for some that may not work for others. 

As I read this book, I began to learn about various forms of resting that I had not quite practiced yet or acknowledged, such as taking small breaks throughout the day. As silly as it may sound, it’s something that I have overlooked. 

We are in a constant rush, to the point where even thinking about taking a break requires a lot of awareness about your needs. Staying in touch with your senses, such as the mind and body, can be a key factor in knowing when your limit has been filled up and when it’s time to take a step back and unwind.

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