REST WITH Suzy Reading
Rest is self-care, and I am so honored to have connected with Suzy Reading, the author of The Self-Care Revolution, a new book available in the UK tomorrow! Her perspective on rest is compassionate and empowering.
In addition to being an author, Suzy is a mother, qualified psychologist, yoga teacher, magazine editor, and coach. Here, she explains how rest can help buffer against future stress and how we can check in with our future selves to know when to rest. She also highlights the absence of striving and the importance of tuning in to the bodymind.
WHAT ARE YOUR RITUALS TO RELAX, REJUVENATE, AND RESTORE YOURSELF?
I enjoy soothing yoga that opens up my body to receive a more complete breath. Mountain breaths to stand tall and energise, calming forward bends to free up the back body and soothe the parasympathetic nervous system, reclining butterfly pose to open up my heart centre. I take walks in Nature to reboot and uplift and I seek out a bird on the wing to feel connected with my Dad who is now my guardian angel. I also use scent and mantra to cultivate different desired feeling states – so potent and transformative in an instant.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO EMPOWER WOMEN TO MAKE TIME FOR (GUILT-FREE) REST?
Every human being needs rest, stillness and nourishment to heal and replenish and to form a protective buffer against future stress. We need it to have access to our best self. A well-nourished person is a more compassionate person. It is the ultimate win win.
PLEASE DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO SURRENDER TO REST.
Ahhh, just recently. My youngest started nursery and for the first time in 7 years I had time to myself to pursue my career and health goals with abandon. I went at it like a mad woman, over excited and without tuning into my bodymind. It’s amazing how potentially life-giving activities can deplete us when we are not balancing rest with activity, push with pull, effort and surrender. I over did it on the running, the trips into London to meet people, and my writing. I needed more solitude, silence, stillness and an absence of striving. It’s an art for getting that balance right!
HOW DO YOU TUNE INTO YOUR BODY'S WISDOM TO KNOW WHEN TO REST?
I get still and quiet and listen. I ask my future self, what’s the best course of action here? I feel my nervous system - am I jittery, overstimulated, reactive… and of course ‘Scary Mummy’ showing up is the best indicator that it’s time to slow down. Compassion and tenderness is key here. Cast judgement aside, we are all fallible human beings who need time and space to replenish.
It was Suzy's life experience of motherhood colliding with the terminal illness of her father that sparked her passion for self-care which she now teaches to her clients, young and old, to cope during periods of stress, loss and change and to boost their resilience in the face of future challenges. Suzy is a contributing editor for Psychologies Magazine and the Psychology Expert for wellbeing brand Neom Organics. She figure-skated her way through her childhood, growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and now makes her home in hills of Hertfordshire, UK. Her first book ‘The Self-Care Revolution’ published by Aster, is due out 28th December 2017 and available for pre-order.