Picture this: your alarm rings, you get out of bed frantically and immediately go for a cold-water shower to ‘wake up.’ This chaotic routine is followed by breakfast whilst you finish equalising your winged liner on both eyes, and isn’t that a task! Before you know it, you’re with your laptop working away the day or perhaps, commuting somewhere. Is this scenario hitting too close to home for you?
How did we end up here?
The onset of Covid-19 confined the world indoors, with entertainment down to zero and a dead dining scene. The consequence of this unannounced, unwelcome catastrophe has been evident in the digital world. Now more than ever, we turn to our phones or other myriad digital devices first thing in the morning. According to a recent study report by Forbes, “The ideation that can take place during the theta state is often free flow and occurs without censorship or guilt. This makes theta state an ideal time to tap into your subconscious mind to visualise what you want and help your brain drive your actions forward toward achieving your vision.”
The study further states, “In skipping these states and checking your phone right after waking up you are priming your brain for distraction.” It not only reduces our attention span but also sets the tone for the entire day, often leading to irritation, fatigue and the constant urge for it all to stop! We’re all now wired to reach out for our phones, scroll mindlessly and feel compelled to respond to unanswered emails. So, where do we go from here? How do we fix this reflex action?
Consciously Indulge In Waking Rest
Trends like minimalism and slow living have become contemporary wellness obsessions today, but they hardly address the solution to this in particular. And that is, the beauty of staying awake and being unassigned. The importance of consciousness while doing nothing at all, forms the crux of what is called ‘waking rest.’ According to a faculty member at Washington State University, Amanda Lamp, waking rest is ‘a period of quiet, reflective thought that allows the brain time to consider and process whatever arises spontaneously.’
The true essence of this wellness trend is to wake up and allow your mind to wander. Yes, you read that right! In lieu of staying on track with your Google calendar or joining scheduled calls and meetings, waking rest encourages you to wake up and just be. Lamp adds that you can fold laundry or sweep or do some other rote tasks, but you shouldn’t mentally engage with anything—not even music.
How do we practice this wellness ritual?
Incorporating waking rest in a dynamic lifestyle can be daunting at first. A form of meditation and a way to calm your mind, giving 2-3 minutes every morning to your thoughts is the first step. Gradually, you’ll find yourself enjoying doing nothing and letting your mind guide your mundane tasks. Whether it’s pouring yourself an ice-cold glass of water or simply sitting by the window, indulge in those tasks and you’re on your way to incorporating waking rest. This trains your brain to realise when you need rest and lets you take it.
And realising this is of utmost importance, especially in a fast-paced world, of which we’re all victims. So there’s our dare for you—enjoy some waking rest over the long weekend.
Photographs: Instagram, Giphy