Julie Rowin MD
In a world full of stress and uncertainty, rest is one of the most important factors for creating wellness. Restorative activities can include mental, physical, and/or emotional activities that help to promote resilience. Particularly if you are under chronic stress, restful activities can break the cycle of stress and assist you on the path to health
Knowing that the brain is not static, but instead has plasticity, underlines one of the key reasons to practice restful habits: you can learn to be healthier, happier, and more connected. Focusing on the process of restoration, rather than current worries, allows you to take charge of your own health and wellness. You can become more resilient.
The Right Activities
Many people turn to television, alcohol, or other semi-harmful activities to counteract stress. Replacing even a few minutes a day of those activities with ones that scientifically promote healing and restoration can trigger lasting improvements. Restoration activities like meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, gratitude, and mindfulness are time-honored, science-backed ways to make a difference internally. They have calming effects not only on the state of mind, but also helping to balance immune function. Don’t let stress run the show. Select a restoration activity and see if it works for you—whether that’s finding something to feel grateful about every day or trying a new yoga pose. Be intentional and open. Take back a few minutes a day of your life to balance your hormones and immune system.
Active Restorative Activities
Deep breathing and breathing techniques
Guided Imagery and/or Visualization
Massage, Sauna, or Water Therapy
Mindful Eating, Walking, or Body Scan
Modified from “The Power of Rest” from The Institute for Function Medicine, copyright 2016