What is rest, anyway?
I found myself asking this after my holistic doctor let me know that I’m a 24-year old diagnosed with chronic stress and fatigue, with lifestyle-changing food allergies and a body that is basically out of all resources … and energy.
You betchya, this piece of news took me by surprise. The message was: “Dear Jessi, you need to heal, and with that you must learn to rest.”
But what is rest? And how do I do that? To be honest, I didn’t know! My degree at Texas encompassed cut-throat chemistry and biology classes, while working 15 hours a week at Kendra Scott, and pulling my hair out to maintain a blog that no one was interested in at the time. Upon graduation, I entered an adrenaline-filled season of “am-I-going-to-make-it-in-the-real-world?” after an unexpected flip in my career path which changed my plans–forcing me to take The Darling Detail full time before I actually felt ready to. Then I walked into owning and maintaining a business at age 22/23, becoming not only a blogger, but a manager – and the “real life” portion of owning a business took away a large snippet of my youth. Meaning…rest was not an option, and I worked to balance being a kid while learning to handle business like an adult. I feel like I’m out of breath just writing this.
Then there were the food allergies. After learning that I’m highly allergic to gluten (i.e., bread, pasta, all that good stuff – all kinds of it) and ALL forms of dairy (two very inflammatory food groups), I found that my gut and stomach had been torn up from 23 years of eating within the confined walls of our (overly processed) food system. I am not a scientist, doctor, chemist, whatever – but what I do know is this: the minute I cut out gluten and dairy, I noticed an insane change in the way I felt as a whole – getting rid of the never-rending acne on my face, migraines, fatigue, and even anxious thoughts. The more that I spoke about my allergies, the more my friends started to pick up on it – realizing that they too were reacting badly to gluten and dairy and cluelessly having no idea of it. The more I began to talk about it with people, the more I realized this is a bigger problem than just myself and a few friends. Our stomachs are correlated to our minds, and the messages we send to our brains in the midst of eating in a never-ending plethora of processed food is … a bit frightening?
So now what?
I’m currently working on something called rest. I’m on a personal journey to become more balanced, take care of myself, be mindful of what I put into my body, and heal. It’s something you don’t hear too often in the blogging industry (it looks like hearts and butterflies, doesn’t it?). Rest isn’t always top of mind in the midst of the c-r-a-z-y holidays – a time where we all are a go-go and social media has us trying to keep up with the other instagrammers at a pace faster than we can even snapchat it all.
So how do I flip this for good?
The holidays can, instead, be a time for self. A time for re-evaluation, a time for healing, rest, and preparation for a shiny new season come 2017. Rest beckons change; it allows for change and it prepares for change. But it starts with setting boundaries: and that begins with a whole lot of simple “no’s.”
I think this was my hardest lesson: learning to say no. When what we want isn’t always what we need, it’s hard to understand that setting boundaries is difficult and quite frankly, makes us feel uncomfortable. However, it is the way to mindfulness and getting to know ourselves better without the outside world confusing us. Whether it’s saying no to bad eating habits, processed foods, non-stop nights hitting the town, overworking yourself, overextending yourself, allowing a friend group to influence you negatively, or just simply not knowing how to sit down on the couch and simply…be–all of these things can be intense distractions from mindfulness, rest, healing, and knowing your true self. For some reason, the principle of rest just isn’t encouraged enough in our society. I believe it’s one of the most important steps in reaching for the stars and going for the gold. The best part about rest and healing is you are strengthening yourself, and preparing for a shiny, strengthened, and balanced you.
I hope that you all can take a little inspo from my journey – as it is something that I just began this fall and I’m slowly, but surely, getting stronger and healthier. And I’m slowly gaining my energy back (sans 6 cups of coffee) each day with the help of my holistic practitioner. In the midst of my lifestyle choices, learning these boundaries has been a painful, but incredibly eye-opening process, making me excited for what is to come. It took me awhile to get up the guts to publish this, so I hope this inspires at least one of you! Would love to hear if any of you have any tips or stories to share as well! Comment below! XOXO
all images via pinterest