How To Set Rest Goals That Tone Down the Stress of Everyday Life

Photo: Getty Images/Thana Prasongsin
Goal setting tends to be defined by doing. Maybe you want to make a point of moving your body more, or make the necessary steps to get promoted at work. While all of this is fine and dandy (and worthwhile, for sure), remember: R&R is a valuable goal, too. So today, Headspace meditation expert and clinical social worker Kessonga Giscombé, LAc, has the advice you need to put your own replenishment first.

If you're not convinced that rest deserves room in your calendar, look to the research. "There are so many scientifically proven benefits of taking time to rest," says Giscombé. "The ones that stand out to me are an increase in stress resiliency, an increased clarity of thought, which leads to better performance at school and work, and decreasing the risk of getting serious health ailments like diabetes or high blood pressure." It's also a great way to hit the refresh button, he adds.

Experts In This Article
  • Kessonga Giscombe, Kessonga is a trained mindfulness meditation instructor, a Master’s trained clinical social worker, and a Headspace meditation teacher. He holds a BA in Biology from North Carolina Central University and an MS in Acupuncture from The New York College of...

What rest goals look like IRL

Just like you may write out a to-do list at the beginning of the week or plan what meals are going to nourish you Monday through Friday, you’ll want to get clear on what your objectives are around rest how you plan to put them into action. "I think this can be an excellent practice to get the week started in a positive way,” Giscombé says. “I would maybe frame it as 'rest intentions,' so as to take the pressure off. In addition, I would pay attention to making my 'rest intentions' realistic and not too lofty,"

With that in mind, your rest goals will be 100 percent unique to you. "A few examples would be taking a 15 to 20-minute break every 90 minutes, taking one to three minutes to do a brief meditation every morning when you wake up and your feet hit the floor, or taking a warm bath every Sunday before the week gets started," says Giscombé. Really, it's up to you. So experiment, and let go to activities that don't recharge your battery.

Getting over the guilt of setting rest goals

Throughout the process, it's totally understandable if you're still feeling some resistance about taking a time out. We live in a culture that glorifies business and hustle—so much so that it may feel uncomfortable and challenging to take a beat. "When you notice these feelings of guilt, knowing that there’s nothing ever wrong with feeling what you feel,” Giscombé says.

In the moment, practicing a bit of mindfulness may help move through these emotions. “Pause and maybe take a deep breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth, and then gently let this feeling go," says Giscombé. “Rinse and repeat if necessary.”

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