Ya’ll. Since I didn’t post a blog last week because I was too busy with work, celebrating my birthday, meal prepping (for me and clients — Fit AF is an official business ya’ll!), gym time, the time change, and various and sundry other reasons, I felt like I wanted to do a two-fer this week. So get ready, here I come!

I feel like rest is totally underrated most of the time. As I mentioned above, I am often on the go to the point of sheer exhaustion. I LOVE being busy, I’m a mover and a shaker, and I have a hard time letting myself just take a deep breath and relax. I think it’s a coping mechanism. I purposely pack my days full of “things” to focus on every minute from sunrise until bedtime to busy my brain. Even before I fall asleep, I’m reading or having a TV binge (you guys, the past couple of weeks Super Sweet Husband (Ty) and I have been watching The Haunting of Hill House — and it. is. enthralling.).

I decided a few weeks back that I really needed to set some fresh fitness goals. I was kinda doing aimless things at the gym, trying not to get burned out, and just needed some direction. So I said, “Self, what the heck, why not try to work out for 365 days in a row? It can’t be all that difficult, right? You like working out. It’s kinda your thing. You’re already well over 1/2 way done with this goal. Just go for it.” Well. At the time, I had completely forgotten about birthdays, holidays, allergies, and the simple need for rest. Let’s be real. There are some times where you really just need to chill out, no?

Spoiler alert, even with all that has been going on in my life, I have still not skipped a single day of working out. In February, I will have 365 days of workouts under my belt. I find that when I expend active energy, it helps my mental health stay high. However, since I started this little exercise, I have realized that rest can be a good thing. Even as I sit here writing this blog, I have blown off a social function that I had planned to go to. It’s not that it wasn’t important to me — it was. It’s just this: while I wish I could do it all, sometimes it’s important for me to take some time and get my life together — even if that means sitting here on the couch, drinking coffee, and reading a book (or insert YOUR favorite pastime here!).

It’s okay to let yourself rest, even when you don’t really want to! If you have allergies (like I do), your body needs some time to recover. It also can take courage to be still, especially when you’re afraid of where your mind will wander if you don’t have it ready to focus on the next activity, the next thing, the next event.

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My favorite restful activities are as follows:

  • Cleaning: Ok, I know this is kind of an active thing, but cleaning soothes me when I’m stressed and it’s not high impact, so I feel like it applies. There is such thing as active rest!
  • Catching up on my shows: There is nothing more relaxing than watching a good Real Housewives of Name That City, all the things on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, and Shameless. Amiright or amiright?
  • Reading: I LOVE dark and twisty thrillers, but lately I’ve been re-reading Harry Potter because I just need to sometimes. I LOVE all things Harry Potter, ok?
  • Spa treatments: Whether at home or at an actual spa, I can always get down for a little self care.
  • Writing: Obvi. I find it relaxing to get my thoughts on paper, or on screen (as it were).
  • Hanging around outside: Being one with nature can be pretty therapeutic.
  • Yoga/pilates: While I tend to be attracted to high-impact work outs, there are times when I just need a break — and that’s when I hit up the yoga or pilates studios. They’ll often offer you a free week trial, so why not take them up?
  • SUPing: We live near a lake, and sometimes a stand up paddle board session can be a cure all.

I’ve also been reading a ton of articles about how rest days (and cheat days from your diet) can benefit you. Here are some reasons why you should make time to rest:

  • Injury prevention
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Performance dips
  • Good sleep habits
  • Immune system health
  • Mental edge
  • Metabolism benefits

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*Please note that Olive is the QUEEN BEE of rest and relaxation. This girl can rest all day.

What are your favorite relaxation tips? Even though I plan to see my 365 days of workouts through (because I’m stubborn like that), I really need to add some new ideas to my rest arsenal.

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Thanks for reading! Xo.

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