As parents, I think most of us are well aware of the importance of rest in our lives. As we know from experience, a good night’s sleep can do wonders for us both physically and emotionally. Sleep provides the rest that our bodies need in order to rejuvenate, regulate, repair, and grow. For children, this is particularly important, as a lack of sleep can affect their growth hormone levels, their metabolism, their ability to concentrate, and their motor skills. These issues, in turn, can affect mood, behavior, school performance, interactions with family and friends, eating habits, and so on. Thus, the importance of sleep is undisputed.
What about psychological rest?
Psychological rest is much less talked about, but becoming more relevant each day as adults and children alike are inundated with the rapid advances that technology brings.
Enter social media and its incredibly addictive nature. We see both children and adults glued to their phones and screens. Many children in our society have their phones with them 24/7. Their brains and bodies are on high alert for the next text, ‘like’, or comment. This is simply not a place of rest for them, and they need this rest in order to help them emerge as separate beings, adapt to life’s challenges, and mature. On top of not getting the psychological rest they need, these kids are texting well into the night and compromising their sleep needs dramatically.
So what is it that is so attractive to our youth about social media and communication via their smartphones? Quite simply, these kids are seeking connection, which happens to be with their peers. This connection, however, is not a deep and fulfilling connection that helps facilitate their growth. It is a connection that is often shallow, distracting, and often very wounding.
Making Room for Psychological Rest
In summary, it’s important to make sure that we are mindfully creating room and time for both psychological and physical rest. Do your own ‘rest’ inventory, and see where you net out. If it seems like you and/or your kids might be short, it might be time to make some changes!
Jennifer Pearson– Intern
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