Why is a change as good as a rest?
Self-care is something. I think, we should all prioritise because making sure we are OK physically and mentally is vital to ensure we can live our lives feeling the best we have the potential to feel. As everyone is unique, we all have our own ways of achieving this, and as the old saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a rest’. However, is it actually though? And if it is, why is it?
I believe that this saying is true, on some occasions at least. Doing something different is often an opportunity to end up feeling happy, or at least to feel better than you did before. A big example of this is from our lives this year, and in recent weeks especially. For many people during the lockdown, being stuck at home all the time had at least some impact of their mental health, but being able to do something, such as going to the supermarket or out for their daily exercise allowance, I’m sure had a positive impact. The same can be said for when the lockdown restrictions eased; being able to go to the pub or go out to a restaurant not only allowed people to do something again that they enjoyed before lockdown, it also provided a change.
This positive impact on wellbeing can be found in many ways, and resting is something we do when we need to re-charge our batteries; when we need to be kind to our bodies and relax. Our bodies are the most important things we own, and they usually tell us when we need to rest, but this can be both physically and mentally. Depending on the person, having some time away from certain stressors in life, such as work, could be the key to this, or maybe just by having a duvet day where real life is forgotten about, and instead our minds can be filled with a boxset or a book for a while. Everyone has different likes, dislikes, and ways of coping, and it’s OK to take such time out when it’s needed.
By doing something different or new, it allows us to also potentially take our minds out of a possibly monotonous routine. Routines are generally good for structure and wellbeing, but a routine such as ‘eat, work, sleep, repeat’ can be frustrating, and experiencing something new can help people manage their feelings towards their current lives. An example of this could be the standard 9-5 working life where people commute to work, carry out their working day, commute home, eat some dinner, watch a bit of TV, and then sleep so they can wake up and do it all again the next day. So many of our lives are like this on Mondays to Fridays, and consequently many live for the weekend.
Living for the weekend isn’t a new phenomenon, and what it stands for certainly isn’t, but it also highlights how important rest and relaxation, in whatever form that may be, is. Many people enjoy going to a pub or a nightclub at the weekend to let off some steam, see friends, and enjoy not having to wake up early for work the next day. Other people may enjoy a takeaway and a boxset instead. Both are very different ways of enjoying the precious free time they have, but both show how in terms of mental health they could be just what the individual needs. Having a night in can provide calm, relaxation, and restfulness. A night out can provide a way of burning energy which could be negative. An outlet for getting rid of such emotions is always important to have.
So a change is as good a rest because of the positive impact it can have on a person both physically and mentally. Doing something new can allow for someone to enjoy experiencing something they don’t usually do, which positively impacts of their mental health, which in turn can benefit their physical health as both are linked. Rest is always important to undertake, but the benefits of doing something new shouldn’t be underestimated.
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons) Cert HE
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