When thinking of rest what comes to mind? For me, I immediately think of sleep. This is true however there is more to rest than meets the eye. With a little thought and our ability to impose our will we can position ourselves to get rest even before our day starts. No one would argue that we live in a culture were do not get enough down time, moving from one task to another task. Some people even wear their busy daily grind of checking off a figurative check list as a badge of honor. In our toolkit, we have many methods and opportunities ‘up our sleeves’ to promote a productive day. Networking. Exercise. Working. But what about rest? If rest is not one of the tools within our toolkit, we set ourselves up a poor quality of life day in and day out.

Several of the chronic ailments we are prone to get have a direct link to the lifestyle habits we have developed. Moreover chronic ailments such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes have direct links to prolonged periods of lack of rest. Being diagnosed with one disease heightens the development of another ailment. When we think of these diseases mentioned above, there is good and bad news. The bad news is, based on our genetics or family history, sometimes we are predisposed to get ailments. This means there are certain diseases which could potentially be passed down. The good news (as promised) is that we can strategically do some things to change the tides through prevention.

When we talk about prevention, rest should be in our toolkit.

Rest is one of the easiest ways to reap the benefits of improved health to distance ourselves from chronic illnesses. It is through taking time to unwind that we are able to regain our focus with a clearer mindset. When we do not allow ourselves periods of rest we replace those voids with poor lifestyle choices to include overeating. Which undeniably causes health issues to snowball. Adequate rest goes hand in hand with stress management. Rest should never be underestimated.

If a vacation on a tropical Island is not within your immediate future to compliment your vision of rest, it’s Ok. I got you covered. Consider gaining traction early in the morning as a way to create mindfulness and more rest from the very start of the day. Using the wee hours of the morning is nothing new. Several noteworthy celebrities have a morning regimen to include such things as exercise, meditation, reading and/or other activities that promote a restful day at the top of their toolkits. These activities are used as a primer to promote a productive day . Upon closer thought, we all have some kind of morning regimen.

Why must the celebrities have all the fun?

There is a special magic that happens when we use the first waking hours of the day on ourselves. This is especially true if we are caregivers and/or part of the working force. Rising just 1 ½ hours earlier will harnesses our inner peace.

Like the rich and famous, we too can use what I call the first chapter of the day, to meditate, read the newspaper, prepare meals for the day and/or exercise. The only caveat is to do ONLY those things that promote moving into the day in a restful state.

What’s in your toolkit?