Resting, however, is a horse of a different color. Could even be a gazelle. Resting is a choice. A decision a person makes. Like, think I'll take the day off and just veg. Or, I'll have my tea on the patio, be back in 20. That sort of thing. Resting is a bit like sleeping in that it requires a slowing down physically and mentally. The biggest difference is that resting is conscious. No darkness, no dreams. Could be daydreams though.
I've always been one of those Type A personalities who has to-do lists, full schedules and can live on adrenaline for a space of time. Over the years, however, I've learned that there is a price to pay when ignoring the value of rest. I'll often joke and say "I pay for my thrills," even when the thrill is nothing more than working 9 hours straight. Exhaustion is not a virtue. Productivity that leaches away your creativity and joie de vivre is productivity not worth bragging about.
I found an interesting article about the value of rest at the website for the exercise and fitness product Fitbit. The article is by endurance athlete and a New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes titled, "6 Reasons Why Rest Days Are Important." Number 6 is "Mental Edge...Mental fatigue can be every bit as detrimental as physical fatigue and taking a rest day helps to recharge the psyche...."
Granted Mr. Karnazes article talks to physical activity but I found it relevant even to me, a 60-something artist. And especially to me, a person who lives with a chronic illness that in and of itself steals energy and against which I stubbornly fight. I used to holler, out loud mind you, "I don't want to stop right now and rest!" But after you hit your head against a brick wall enough times you finally come to the inevitable conclusion that hitting your head on bricks simply doesn't feel good. Duh.
So now I find joy in rest. I linger over my breakfast so that 1] I know I'm getting the proper nutrition to fuel my day, 2] I enjoy my first cup of tea and not just gulp it down and 3] I then start my day feeling firmly planted in it. Rest when you can, rest when you need to and rest to enjoy. Sleep every single night as much as your mind and body requires. You will thank yourself for it.