April 6, 2023

Today’s world is all about that hustle. Go! Move! Faster! More Productive! Bigger! Better!

Ugh. It makes me feel ill. Fuuuuuuck thaaaaaaat.

I’m all about that REST. Giving ourselves little moments (or big ones) of rest, nourishment, relaxation, that help nurture and recharge our inner batteries and ignite our creativity and innovation.

So today I delve into why rest is so important, some different ways it can look (hint: not just sleep/naps), and HOW to Rest Like A Champ.

Get this episode in your earholes, stat.

With love and gratitude,
Israel. xo


WORK WITH ME – Israel Smith – Well-Being Coach & Speaker
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Welcome to the Illuminating Lives podcast. I’m Israel Smith mindset and performance coach for successful high achievers. Just like you, we want more meaning and purpose in your life without the stress, burnout and overwork. I’ll share how you can make simple changes to your mindset, habits and choices to stop those racing thoughts or angry outbursts and create more time, more energy, more balance, and a lighter, calmer head and heart.

This podcast is for you. If you’re ready to learn how to thrive in our uncertain world. Prioritize your own well-being and mental health. Improve your relationships with your partner and kids. Rediscover some fun, and just get back on track to living your best life every day. I’m stoked that you’re here.

Hey team, Welcome back to the Illuminating Lives podcast. Israel here. Super excited to share a topic with you today that is very, very close to my heart. How to rest like a Champ. This has been on my mind this week. We are on the cusp of a four day long weekend in Australia for Easter. And as I recalled this and I kept getting nudges to my health as well as from my clients about just slow down and rest, slow down and rest, take time and rest.

Give your body what it needs and rest. Turn your brain off and rest all of the above. It just keeps showing up for me in so many different ways. So I guess that’s kind of a nudge I need to listen to and I need to do this episode all about how to rest like a champ. Now I think of you as the Champ one because you’re listening to this podcast and you are clearly interested in and committed to being a better version of yourself and showing up.

Awesome. For all of the people that you love. And two, because I know that in you is the willingness and the dedication to doing some of these actions or taking some of these actions that I’m proposing. So rest, as you know, is essential. Let’s dive right in. Our bodies need to sleep. I’ve spoken about this at length on at least two episodes of this podcast in the past.

But here’s the bit I haven’t touched on. Rest can take many forms and sleep is one of them, but there are many other forms of rest that we can incorporate that don’t require a 7 to 9 hour stretch of time that don’t require a bed, but that still can be nourishing and useful and helpful to us. Now, if we revisit the idea of the four story mansion, we have four levels of this mansion that make us up as humans our physical, our emotional, our mental and spiritual selves, or layers of floors.

All four of these benefits from rest our physical body. Obviously it gets to recuperate our emotion. That’s when we rest our emotions get the chance to turn up and be acknowledged and be processed. Our emotions also, I suppose, in a sense, get to settle if you imagine a lot of flourishing activity. Our emotions can be a little bit like a lot of ripples on a very disrupted pond.

But as we let ourselves rest, our emotions begin to settle. Likewise, our thoughts in the mental layer, in level three, when we rest our mind, when we take away the constant firehose of information flood that we try and drink from every single day, from our phones, from our TVs, from our computers, from all of the bombardment of advertising and other things in our day to day lives.

When we take all of that away and really give ourselves time to rest our brain, rest our mind and let our thoughts just meander. That’s really nourishing. And then spiritually, when we connect to nature, when we connect to our spirit, and when we do that from a restful, mindful place, and that helps us feel reconnected to source, that helps us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

So you can see really clearly how beautiful rest is and how essential it is. This is counter to basically everything about our society, everything about our I’m going to say Western capitalist culture is about productivity and efficiency and performance and maximizing outputs and, you know, making more money and doing more things and fitting more stuff into our weeks and our days and our minutes and our hours.

And so it is a bit like heresy in a sense to be prioritizing rest in a culture so obsessed with always being on an always being busy. How are you busy? It’s like the default response, and I don’t even know whether we think about it. It’s so ingrained these days to answer the question, How are you with really busy, flat out it’s everywhere, like a badge of honor, but it’s really not.

It’s really a terrible state. If we’re that busy, that that’s our first answer. And if that’s become our default reprograming that into ourselves. Every time someone asks, how are we? We program ourselves that we’re busy, but do we want to be Do you want to be 100 miles an hour all the time in your life? My guess, because you’re listening to this podcast is probably not.

You’re probably looking for ideas in how you can do things slightly differently. So let’s take it as a given that you want to learn how to rest like a champ. I’m going to come to like a little four step how to toward the end of this episode. But in the meantime, I want to also outline a few of the different ways that rest can look.

Obviously, it can look like sleep. All right. Lying down in bed, zonk out. It can look like a nap. That can be, you know, on the couch or in a comfy, lazy chair or hello on the floor, in the living room, on a nice rug, on the grass in the backyard, on a picnic blanket, like taking a nap is one of my favorite things.

And I’m such a fan of just the act of lying on the couch reading a book until my eyes get droopy and then just allowing them to close and letting myself doze for 20 minutes or half an hour or an hour or an hour and a half. You know, it’s that depends on what’s on during the day. But a lot of the time on a weekend, there’ll be at least one day where I completely flake out partway through the middle of the day just to give myself that delightful experience of a nice nap.

But rest can also look like doing a short stretch, taking a walk around the block, making yourself a cup of tea mindfully without looking at your telephone or reading a book. Rest can be reading a book. Rest can be sitting in the backyard or taking yourself outside. If you’re in an office and finding somewhere to sit and just watch the world, just observe.

The rest can be getting a little mindful coloring book and doing some exercises. In that way, you just coloring those incredible pictures like rest is many and varied. It can be whatever you want it to be, but the intention behind it is to let yourself be nourished, let yourself be cared for, and let yourself slow down the relentless pace that you have probably been going at.

So that’s what rest looks like. Now, another thing actually I forgot to mention is that rest can also be a meditation. I’m actually in the process of building a bit of a library of meditations. I’ll let you know as soon as they’re available. But one of them that I’m going to be doing is a body scan. Now, a body scan, meditation is what it sounds like.

You literally scan your body in a very mindful way, usually starting from a sitting position or lying down to position, and you scan from your feet the soles of your feet all the way up your body, through your legs, through your hips and your pelvis, through your belly, through your chest, down your arms up your neck and around your head and your face.

And by doing that, as you move to each part of your body, you just notice what’s going on. And then if there’s tension there or if there’s stress there or if there’s tightness, it is gently release that with love. So that’s another great way of resting or even just doing a simple guided relaxation meditation or even doing some focused breathing, you know, a great one that I love to do is the long, slow inhales and exhales, breathing in and out through my nose, breathing deep into my belly, very diaphragmatic breathing and breathing in for a slow count of four, and then out for a slow count of eight.

And that helps us rest. So rest can look very different depending on where you’re at and what you feel like and actually having a few different varieties of rest that you can tap into a different point of the day or night or weekend is really useful and really helpful. So I want you to sort of break this idea that rest means sleep.

It doesn’t necessarily. Okay. How to rest like a chant. Let’s get into it. Number one, the most important part of resting like a champ is to give yourself permission to rest. Give yourself the grace, the kindness, the compassion to literally rest when you need it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with my family and with my clients, especially with my clients, about the fact that resting is actually part of the work that we are doing, either as entrepreneurs or as parents or as employees.

Resting is part of what gives us back our recharge and our creativity and our innovation. And so the rest is the work. But we need to give ourselves permission first, because if ever you feel guilty or ashamed or afraid of reprisal or something, any of these negative connotations or negative emotions or energies associated with rest, the rest will be less productive as that word.

The rest will be less nourishing, let’s say not less productive, less nourishing. And if you want to get the most out of it, come to it with an open, full heart. Giving yourself love and compassion fully owning and embracing the act of rest. If and when you can do that, the outcome will be so much more beneficial for you.

That’s step number one. Give yourself permission. Step number two, start listening to your body for clues and for cues. Your body will tell you when it needs rest and what kind of rest it might benefit from. But you need to pay attention and you need to build in a little bit of a practice of awareness here. I invite you now just to take a minute and check in with your body.

You have this incredible inner wisdom built into you. So wherever you are, if you’re driving, please keep your eyes on the road and stay, you know, alert and pay attention. But if you’re not driving and if you have a minute where you can sit and close your eyes, just close your eyes gently and then just check in with your body.

And the beautiful thing about this is whatever the first thought is that shows up in your brain when I ask you this question or these questions is going to be accurate. It’s going to be what you want and what you need, what your body craves. So the first question is, is what is my body feeling right now? What is my body feeling right now?

So whatever your answer was, that’s what your body is feeling. Could be relaxed, could be hungry, could be tired, could be tense, could be stressed, could be a bit stiff or a bit sore. But bringing some awareness to that is going to help you improve the literacy you have with your body and then understand what the cues are to encourage you to rest more.

The second question I want you to ask your body What does my body need right now? What does my body need right now? Again, that can be a very varied answer. It might be water, it might be food, it might be movement, it might be rest. Okay. The third question, is there anything else my body would like me to know right now?

Is there anything else my body would like me to know right now that doing that will actually give you an interesting answer? It might say no, nothing. That’s it. If you can just move me or give me some rest. That’s all I need. But sometimes your body will say, Look, rest would be great, and I kind of really need you to lay off on the chocolate or I kind of just slow down on the alcohol.

So just tune in and listen to your body in the same way you would listen to music. But it’s just your body talks to you through whatever that first instant response is that shows up in your mind. Don’t second guess it, don’t overthink it. That’s the truth. Whatever shows up first, that is what you need to hear. So that’s how you begin to listen for cues.

You start to tap into your body. The body’s in a knowing and in a wisdom, and then from there you can start to recognize, Oh, I actually, I could really use a nap. I feel like my head is just plowing through the cotton wool at the moment and I need to have a nap to just take away some of the fuzziness so that I can come back clear and productive and effective in whatever project I’m working on.

So number one, give yourself permission. Number two, listen to your body. Number three, choose your method of rest. Now, sometimes your body will give you clues on that, and sometimes it’ll be up to you to choose one. You can try a bunch of different things and I really encourage you to. So maybe revisit the earlier part of this podcast and just scribble some notes on the ones that appealed to you the most.

I’ll recap them. Run, meditate, stretch, take a nap, stand on the grass and ground yourself, read a book, make a mindful cup of tea or coffee, do a body scan. They’re just some of the ideas, so choose the one that you think is going to be best for you in this moment. And that may shift moment to moment, day to day.

And then the final step is to go all in and take the rest that you need. And I always, always, always encourage that to happen off line, away from devices unplugged. Lying on your bed is wonderful. Lying on your bed. Scrolling Instagram or TikTok is not really restful. It’s sort of pseudo rest, right in the same way that like the artificial sweeteners, pseudo sweeteners or pseudo sugar, you really don’t want to be resting one part of you and then overstimulating another part of you.

So when you’re going for rest, go offline, unplug from the Matrix, give yourself a full break to really nourish yourself. That’s how you rest like a champ. I hope that will make sense. In fact, I’m sure that all makes sense. I have confidence and I have faith that this will land for you the way it needs to for you.

As always, the first step is the hardest. Giving yourself permission to rest, giving yourself permission in the face of programing, conditioning, societal expectations, culture, hustle, all of the above. That’s the hardest piece. But once you can overcome that and just give yourself the love and the caring and the permission to bloody well rest, then you can go through, listen to your body for when that needs to happen.

Choose to kind of rest and then go all in and go offline. I have so much love and gratitude for you showing up, listening to my podcast week after week. I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoy creating them. And I want you to remember that I’m here to help. I’m here to help you with things like getting clear on your resting schedule, learning to listen to your body, learning to meditate, improving your relationship with your significant other, setting better boundaries around work versus personal time so that you’re not constantly always switched on for work.

If any of these things sound like things you need some support with, or if you’re going through a major, major challenging time, like a difficult season in your marriage and you really don’t know what to do, well, perhaps you’re considering a really significant career change and you need some support and you need someone to help show you the blind spots as you go through that.

Or if you’re feeling like you’re fucking miserable and you don’t know why. Because everything on paper says that you should be happy too. Let’s talk. Jump over to my website Israel Smith dot com slash coach me and let’s get an appointment on the calendar where I can talk with you about coaching, about how it works, about how it might help You can tell me where you’re at specifically.

I can tell you how I might be able to help specifically, and we can assess whether we’re the right fit. Because let’s be honest, I’m not for everybody. If you’re listening to this and you’re this far through the episode, I’m probably for you. But it’s always worth a conversation just to make sure, as I said in my how to handle change like a legend, Don’t stay on the sticky, hot, uncomfortable banana lounge when you’re only six feet from the swimming pool.

Take the action, Take the steps away from the lounge, jump in the pool. Give me a call. Set up a time with me. Let’s talk. I can’t wait to help you get closer to that better version of yourself in that bit of life that you really want to be living, sending you all of the love and gratitude. See you next episode. Bye!

Thank you so much for joining me on this episode. Since you’re still listening, you’re probably the kind of person who loves to get the most out of everything in life. So let’s have a conversation about that. I want to invite you to book in a 30 minute clarity session with me where we can talk about what you want, what’s in the way, and what the next steps look like.

Plus, we can also have a chat about how I work and if we’re the right fit to work together. So take a minute now jump over to my website at Israel Smith dot com slash coach me and grab a spot on my calendar. Let me help you get the most out of your life, your work and your relationships in the first place to start is with a clarity session.

That’s Israel Smith dot com slash coach me I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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