From an Ayurvedic perspective it appears that the political world around us is in a high “Pitta” state. In other words, fiery, aggressive ,out of balance, critical and generally out of “order”. The unexpected has become expected , not in a good way. Being that there are various perspectives on everything it seems, confusion, overwhelm, worry and fear can enter the mix. Now we are at ” Vata”; the dosha in Ayurveda when imbalanced feels like it’s swirling.
How do we return to an inner state of balance amidst this swirling of energies?
There’s an antidote for this overwhelm, I’ve discovered.
When athletes train in the gym they are coached that a day of rest in between their workouts is critical to recovery of muscle training but also growth. Muscles need time and rest to reboot, rebuild and grow. Rest days also have other significant benefits like reducing injury and inflammation. Rest days also give you the time to refocus and find the fun again in what you are doing rather than continue working out like a machine.
In the Jewish religion Sabbath is observed as a day of rest away from technology, driving and other mundane activities such as cooking and even turning on lights; depending how far a person wants to take it.
And there’s some science to support the idea that practicing a day of rest — including time away from social media and digital devices — benefits longevity and both mental and physical health.
In France, people generally don’t work on Sundays as a day of rest. I also remember trying to purchase a train ticket in France during lunch time. The window was shut from 12-2pm. I was stunned. People went home to rest.
A mother might give her child a “time out” when a toddler is having a tantrum or can’t settle down. It’s a compassionate approach to an overwhelmed nervous system. This period of rest for the child also serves as a distraction to the issue at hand.
In our culture however it is deemed that the more we do the more productive and successful we become.
Although that may be true for many I’ve not found that getting burnt out is a quality I aim to imbibe. But yet circumstances can bring it on.
As women we may be juggling multiple roles in our daily lives that can easily lead to overwhelm, fatigue, and lack of focus. Been there, done that.
But what I’ve discovered is that taking a short period of rest with my feet up, pillow behind neck and under my feet, around 4ish pm is so restorative. It’s like a reboot for my mind, body and spirit. I drink a full glass of water before I lay down and often apply an essential oil on my chest.
For anyone with chronic fatigue, adrenal issues, and EBV I’d say it’s essential. The ten to fifteen minutes of pure rest, no phones, or media is a gift to your entire being and especially the nervous system which can be tipped to overdrive; cortisol raised.
This self care practice began when I was a mother with young children. Before they would arrive on the bus at around 3pm I made it a point to rest and include meditation in the mix before they would come home from school. It helped me reboot for the evening activities and chores.
There’s even some validity to this self care ritual. In Chinese medicine , when the energy of a meridian isn’t flowing well you will have signs. There are ideal times both in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine to maximize energy of daily activities.
here is one perspective;
Action: Reserving and storing
Emotions being processed: Irritation, moving energy internally
Put pink salt in your water or eat something salty.
It’s no wonder why Starbucks is most crowded at this very time when we need hydration and energy. However coffee may not be the most beneficial choice at this particular time.
With rest there is clarity, with clarity there is better thoughts and better thoughts bring about better feelings and actions.
What are some of your favorite rituals?
I wish you all a very happy and “healthy” New Year.
Thank you for engaging in this blog and hearing my voice.
with fierce love,