The Rest Gap — Why Women Are So Exhausted

The Rest Gap — Why Women Are So Exhausted

Sleep is non-negotiable. Rest throughout the day can even be looked at this way, too, with Van Ness noting that rest can mean different things for people.

“That’s a different category than sleep … we could also call that mindfulness, or we could also take that as moments of well-being,” Van Ness said.

“You could probably call it anything you want, but I think it’s resting emotionally, mentally just throughout the day … taking a few deep breaths, and just saying, ‘OK, how am I doing? I’m going to check in with myself.’”

There’s no one right way to rest, either. You can listen to your body’s cues and practice whatever relaxation technique you see fit. This could be meditation, going on a walk, spending time in nature, practicing breath work or calling a friend. Not only will you feel better after listening to what your body needs, but you’ll also be better prepared to finish the tasks that need to get done.

Allowing yourself to rest and de-stress during the day can also carry over into the night. Walking and mindfulness meditation are known to help people sleep better — so it’s a win-win all around.

While carving out time for yourself to rest, also consider where else you can make time for yourself. 

“Because we haven’t capped what we are taking on — as moms, parents and women — then we take on too much,” Hill said.

This is where boundaries can come in.

“I think we’ve got to do a better job of having more emotional boundaries, as hard as it is, so that … we can begin to close this gap,” Hill said.

So, if you feel too drained to babysit your nephew, say no to that request. Or consider setting boundaries around your phone use so your friends and family know not to expect a text reply from you after a certain time.

Know that sleep is essential, not a reward.

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