Feeling tired and stressed? You’re not alone. Over two thirds of people all around the world would like more rest. And their chosen way to find it? Well, being alone.
That’s according to the world’s largest survey conducted on the topic of rest and well-being that included more than 18,000 survey participants. Here are the activities the participants found most restful:
Reading (58 per cent)
Being in the natural environment (53.1 per cent)
Being on their own (52.1 per cent)
Listening to music (40.6 per cent)
Doing nothing in particular (40 per cent)
“It’s intriguing that the top activities considered restful are frequently done on one’s own. Perhaps it’s not only the total hours resting or working that we need to consider, but the rhythms of our work, rest and time with and without others,” said Dr. Felicity Callard, principal investigator of the research and social scientist in the Department of Geography at the university, in the release.
She continues, “The survey shows that people’s ability to take rest, and their levels of well-being, are related. We’re delighted that these findings combat a common, moralizing connection between rest and laziness. "
The study aimed to shed light on the people's resting habits and their attitudes toward rest and busyness. Led by researchers from Durham University in the U.K., results from the online survey revealed that 68 percent of respondents would like more rest, 32 percent felt like they needed more rest than the average person, and a mere 10 percent thought they were getting enough rest or needed less of it.
In addition, results also show that those with caring responsibilities (like parents) and those who worked shifts (like nurses and call center agents) reported fewer hours of rest. Younger people and those with higher incomes also reported the same.
Not surprisingly, those who felt like they needed more rest scored lower in terms of well-being. On the other hand, the scarce group who felt like they had enough rest scored twice as high as those who wanted more rest. The study says this suggests that the perception of rest matters, as well as the reality.
“Rest can seem hard to find, whether in relation to an exhausted body, a racing mind or a hectic city. Rest is a much broader category than sleep, and has physical, mental and spiritual components. But much less is known about the potentially restorative benefits of rest -- in part because it means different things to different people.” said the study's press release.
As people who spend our waking (and sometimes sleeping) lives raising kids, we don’t need a study to tell us that we need more rest. But maybe we do need it to remind us that it’s okay to get rest by spending time away from the kids. Parents shouldn’t feel guilty about spending well-deserve me-time at the spa or in our rooms alone if it helps us become better, more caring parents. So, go ahead, moms and dads. Take a rest.