Rest Days Are My Hardest Days : Here is Why

Rest is a dirty word for me.

There I said it. I honestly struggle to take rest days. Before you roll your eyes and assume I’m just addicted to ‘gym life’, hear me out – because it runs a lot deeper than that.

Movement is magic for me. It’s a way I generate energy, support my mental health and invest in my own well being. I am completely committed to daily movement because it genuinely isn’t something that I do – it’s part of who I am.

At a time in my life when my circumstances were WILDLY different, moving was a coping mechanism that I owe my life to. At a time when I had no control over my own circumstances, exercise was the one thing that remained positive and predictable.

Today, even though my circumstances are wildly different – exercise still makes me feel empowered.

So, on the days that I am supposed to ‘rest’ I really feel a lot of resistance around taking that rest. Today, I’m having to FIGHT against the feeling that I should just get on the treadmill.

Here’s what I have realised – I spent years telling myself to JUST STAY BUSY in order to distract myself from how I was really feeling. Any time in my day that wasn’t preoccupied would leave me the space to over think, over analyse and fall into overwhelm and anxiety.

Whenever I am not ‘busy’ I feel panic begin to rise in my body. My higher self then takes over (bless her – strong, fierce and present in all my moments of struggle) & encourages me to do the ONE THING I know makes me feel calm, in control and centred – movement.

My desire to get on a treadmill has nothing to do with fitness or weight loss . It is an expression of my desire to remain in control.

What I can accept is that even though my circumstances have changed, there is still residual overwhelm within me.

I honour those feelings. They were repressed and ignored for so long, it feels kind and loving to acknowledge them now.

However, they don’t get to make decisions.

I’ve had to work through my feelings to truly understand the thoughts that were insisting I exercise even when it is not in the best interest of my body (rest is JUST as important as training!!)

I stay aware and understand the thoughts that are cultivating these emotions – are now outdated.

My circumstances are different. I don’t have to stay busy. There is nothing I have to deny.

I can just be.

It’s safe.

I am safe to be left alone with my own thoughts.

I can rest.

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