We recently headed up to Mooloolaba for a quick family get away. Gee, it’s nice up there. After a hectic rush to get on the road Friday night, a two hour drive with tired kids and a late night, we woke up to views out over the Pacific, sunshine and a beautiful beach. I immediately felt myself start to relax, unwind and slow down.
Maybe it was the fact that I was so relaxed, but I found that I was acutely aware of how many times Sarah was pressing the pedestrian crossing button at the lights. When I mentioned to her that maybe she could stop repeatedly hitting the poor button she replied that Uncle Geoffrey had told her that the more times she pressed the button the quicker the lights changed. I had to smile at that: her Uncle Geoffrey, my big brother, had told me exactly the same thing at the same age. Sarah is so similar to me. We don’t like wasting our time waiting. In fact, if I am not relaxed, I have to actually clasp my hands behind my back after pressing the pedestrian button to stop myself from doing exactly what Sarah was doing!
Later, as we waited for the lift doors to close to take us back up to our apartment, Sarah asked us which button she could press to make the doors close quicker. She couldn’t even feel like she was wasting the 2-3 seconds it took for the door to close! However, the thing that got my attention was that while the writing on the “open door” button was still crystal clear, the “close door” button had been pressed so many times that the writing had been rubbed off. Obviously, Sarah and I are not the only ones who don’t like wasting time!
This is something I am seeing more and more. People seem to be unable to unwind, incapable of slowing down and downright opposed to the idea of stopping. I often find that my patients are so impatient that they can’t even relax when they are lying down for 10 minutes with a hot pack on and acupuncture needles in. One such patient explained to me that it wasn’t the fact that she was doing nothing, it was the fact that she wasn’t doing anything productive.
And therein lies the problem. You see, rest is productive. Our bodies need rest. Without rest our body doesn’t get a chance to heal. It doesn’t get a chance to settle those little niggles and to repair the everyday wear and tear. As humans we are wonderfully designed and our ability to self-heal is quite remarkable. However, just like any mechanical system, little problems in our bodies that are not rectified will eventually become big problems.
In my patient’s lives, physiotherapy at Physique plays a major part in helping to rectify these little problems. Physio also helps to keep the little issues at bay so that the big issues and the big problems are avoided. However, I believe there is nothing more important to help us heal ourselves than regular rest.
Schedule it in, it is much more important than you realise. Take some time off and do nothing. It is hard to do at first, but, trust me, your body will thank you for it.