Exploring the benefits of Rest

Millennials have become the burnout generation, and while Socrates told us to "beware the barrenness of a busy life", we continue to wear our busyness as a badge of honour, never properly pressing pause and enjoying a moment to ourselves. With the help of award-winning broadcaster and author, Claudia Hammond, Aromatherapy Associates is here to teach the art, and the importance, of rest.

In her book The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age, Claudia Hammond details her collaboration on the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken - the 'Rest Test', with 18,000 participants from 135 countries. Through ground-breaking research, Claudia was able to hone in on what rest really means to us, and which ten activities (all of which can only be improved with our De-Stress blend..!) people considered most restful – and, as Claudia says, 18,000 people can’t be wrong...

  1. Reading
  2. Spending time in Nature
  3. I Want to be Alone
  4. Listening to Music
  5. Doing nothing in Particular
  6. A good walk
  7. A nice hot bath
  8. Daydreaming
  9. Watching TV
  10. Mindfulness

Today, in the UK, half a million people are suffering from work-related stress, and in the US 13% of injuries sustained at work can be attributed to fatigue. More than a quarter of people have fallen asleep at work and 16% have fallen asleep recently while driving. When you add on caring responsibilities and housework and the general admin of modern life, it is no surprise that perhaps three quarters of us have been so stressed at some point over the last year, that we have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

There is evidence to say that short breaks throughout the day aids concentration, while relaxation can help lower the risk of depression, boost our memories and allow us to make better decisions – we are even said to catch fewer colds if well rested and relaxed, but still we consider rest as a luxury, rather than a necessity.

The Rest Test found that those who felt they needed more rest scored lower in terms of wellbeing. Similarly, those who responded saying they think they get more rest than average or don’t feel in need of more rest, had wellbeing scores twice as high as those who wanted more rest.

As physician and presenter Dr Rangan Chatterjee said after reading Claudia’s book – ‘rest isn’t just an indulgence, but an essential part of a life lived well’.

art-of-rest
The Art of Rest by Claudia Hammond explores how Rest can have as much of a positive impact as sleep.

Along with the top ten most restful activities, there are also ways of working which incorporate moments of rest between moments of focus, ultimately helping to ensure you are working to your optimum – all of these moments are valuable on their own, but adding your Aromatherapy Associates blend to each one will only further elevate the experience, ensuring you get the most from your essential moments of reset.