The Importance of Rest

courtesy of

Allison McCall, staff writer

As the school year is coming to a close, it can feel like life just can’t get any more hectic. With finals, last minute projects, award ceremonies, and the natural hustle and bustle of the end of the year, It can seem as if there’s no rest in sight. But there is rest in sight, and it comes in the form of 3 glorious months of sun, sleep, and pools. It can be tempting to enter summer with the same all work and no play mindset from the school year, but summer is the perfect time to recharge. 

Productivity is one of the most admirable qualities someone can have. It proves that you value hard work and choose to prioritize the things that are important to you. What could be bad about that? Just like everything in life, hard work is great for you…in moderation. There is a misconception that to be powerful, successful, or top of your class, you have to be in a constant state of productivity. The truth is that even the most powerful people in the world make time to rest, and that is part of what makes them successful.

Resting is vital to our health—physical, mental, and emotional. And by rest, I do not mean pretending to relax by the pool as you ponder the ever-growing checklist of things to apply for and assignments to finish. In order for rest to be beneficial, it has to be genuine. True, meaningful rest is something that requires little to no thought. It can be something as simple as reading your favorite book, meditating, or even just napping. 

The longing to be productive is a great urge, but in the end it is only truly beneficial if it is paired with a longing to be healthy and well rested. A term often thrown around by students is “multitasking.” This is referring to the act of doing many things simultaneously. While multitasking is often encouraged in the workforce and in schools, if we are to never actually focus on what we are doing and instead strain to focus on multiple things, nothing will ever get done well. A term that I have come to appreciate is “singletasking.” This is the act of purposefully and intentionally giving one thing your full attention. By allowing yourself to simply enjoy doing a single task, you are giving yourself a much needed break from the constant to do list that seems to never end.

As the long awaited summer break approaches, take the opportunity to genuinely rest. Find things that bring you peace of mind, and have the discipline to focus on just those things for a while. 

“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.”

May Sarton