If you happen to have been following this blog or my YouTube channel for a while, you might have noticed that I have gone the longest stretch without adding any content since I started this journey. It’s certainly not lack of inspiration or valuable ideas to research and share my findings on. Everyone has been great about responding with ideas and information to help me keep this blog growing. I cannot tell you exactly what it was other than I felt like pure, unadulterated crap all last week for some reason. I had barely enough energy to make it through the day at work and get home to crash. That gave me the idea of addressing the topic of resting. If you want to read about more health tips, you can find them in my prepper health category Here.
What Do I Mean by “Rest”?
That sounds like a very straightforward question, but there are many ways that we can and need to rest. Physical rest is one of the most important, but we cannot discount mental rest. Failing to rest our bodies and minds when needed will lead to the breakdown of all of our mental and physical functions over time. While I wanted to continue posting to my blog as well as preparing for other activities I have planned, I realized, last week, that the caffeine and over the counter meds I would have to take to continue at my current pace would catch up with me. I chose the best option for me at the time; to report to my job as expected and use the remaining hours of the day to sleep and rest. In hindsight, I may have benefitted more from taking a day off work to do nothing but rest, however I was still able to recover in a reasonable amount of time.
Whether by design or by adaptation, humans, as well as most other land-dwelling animals, need to sleep. For thousands of years, this was a fairly simple part of the daily lives of humans. We would hunt, gather, farm or tend to other chores throughout the daylight hours and when the light faded at dusk, we would prepare to sleep. Of course, there were candles and gas lights to allow us some source of light in the dark, but it wasn’t until the late 19th century when Thomas Edison produced the first viable incandescent light bulb, that we could really turn night into day. From that point forward we have advanced, as a society, into an unnatural 24 hour lifestyle that takes a much larger toll on us and our health than we may think.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, nightly, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In a world of 24 hour demands it’s often easier on the front end to burn the midnight oil and try to get by on as little sleep as possible. As consumers, it is clear that we value productivity over rest by simply looking at the number of energy drinks and supplements available at every convenience store we go into. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, I believe we should look closely at how we schedule things in order to be more efficient in our work and lives so we are left with more leisure time for rest and enjoyment. Click on the picture below for one of the best books I have ever read. It has a section that goes into detail the levels of time management that we can use to make the most out of our time without our productivity taking everything out of us.
You can also look for ways to get more out of your sleep. 7 to 9 hours of restless sleep is not going to keep us refreshed and functioning at our peak. We need deep quality sleep to rejuvenate our bodies. I found out that I have sleep apnea a few years ago and after making the necessary adjustments to my sleep habits, I feel much better every day. For some ideas on how to get more restful sleep click on the picture below.
If you’ve ever dealt with depression, or have a loved one who has, you have probably seen first hand that no amount of sleep can seem to bring someone back on point when his or her mind is burdened heavily. While I am no fan of the trend that we’ve seen in the past 20 to 40 years of blaming everything on some condition or trauma inflicted by others, I do realize that mental health is an important part of daily life and much more so when we are in a survival situation. The point that I would like to make abundantly clear is that knowing you need to rest yourself mentally is not weakness. We become weak when we blame others or our situations on our mental burdens instead of working to restore ourselves by whatever means needed. While some people seem to be born with an amazing ability to compartmentalize mental stressors and even function better under extreme pressure, most of us have to develop those skills and refresh ourselves regularly to continue moving forward.
For some people mental rest may come as easily as listening to their favorite music or sitting quietly in the early morning or late evening hours. Others may gain clarity from exercise or a walk alone in a natural surrounding. Many of us also turn toward faith and spirituality to relieve our mental tensions and renew ourselves. If none of those work for you, it might be helpful to learn to meditate or even visit a counsellor to help you unearth some peace and understanding of yourself. I know doing that helped me see a whole different view of my life and circumstances. If you want to look for more ways to understand mind and how to rest mentally in this day and age, click on the book below by Jordan Peterson. He can make sense of a lot of the issues we face today.
Final Thoughts On Resting
While survival situations won’t usually offer the most comfortable situations for us to rest, keeping the need to refresh mentally and physically in mind is important. Whenever possible, a team of individuals offers a greater distribution of the workload and allows each member much more time to rest than he or she would have if they were on their own. We are also in much better shape to attend to a disaster or survival situation if we go into it with a rested mind and body. When things are stacked against us, it’s often too late to rest up for the fight.
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