9 Tell-tale Signs that it's Time to Rest

9 Tell-tale Signs that it's Time to Rest
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

In the whirlwind of life we so often just let inertia carry us. However, this inertia doesn’t usually include listening to the messages that our body is sending us. And if we were to put these signs in order by importance, then the signs saying it’s time to rest would be very high up on the list.

“I can do it,” we tell ourselves. We feel obliged to keep going, out of love for those around us, out of a sense of responsibility. We do it to be better people (or so we think). We do it because that’s what we’re supposed to do. If everyone else does it then surely that’s what we have to do.

But if we don’t stop our “machine” while there’s still time, sooner rather than later the machine will stop by itself. Stopping before it’s too late is not a sign of weakness or cowardice, but rather a sign of intelligence loving yourself, those who depend on you, and those who matter to you.

So how do we know when it’s time to stop? What signals does our body send us to tell us we need to rest?

What are the signs that we need a rest?

When we need to rest, our body usually lets us know. Ignoring these signals will not stop the problem;  it will actually make it worse. They are signs, among other things, of stress, tiredness, and discouragement, and they must be dealt with.

If you play “until your body breaks” and you don’t leave the field in time then you will always lose the match one way or another.

If you see several of the following signs then it is time for you to start thinking about taking a break. It’s time to look over your routines, priorities, and true needs. The more see yourself in the signs we describe below, the more you need to take a break.

Girl who needs a rest.


1 – You feel more tired than usual

Being tired due to prolonged or intense physical or mental exertion is normal. What isn’t normal is for the fatigue to continue day after day, all day long, from when you get up in the morning until bedtime.

2 – You can’t get through the day without stimulants

Whether it be caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar or any type of drug, cheating by using stimulants is only a temporary solution to fatigue. In fact, in the long run there’s a good chance it’ll get worse. And that’s why we continually need more and more of the same stimulants in order to achieve the same effect.

3 – You have a hard time concentrating

Whether it’s from tiredness or some other factor, one of the early signs that we need a rest is not being able concentrate on the tasks in hand. Dreaming, multitasking, or procrastinating can be signs that our energy reserves are getting low.

Girl needing a rest.

Our work life

4 – You’re working more and more

Working longer doesn’t necessarily mean you get more done. We become less productive due to the fatigue and difficulty focusing. And as a result we somehow feel like we have to work more hours to compensate for the drop in performance. The thing is that doing more just makes us even more tired than we were at the start.

5 – You’re always thinking about work

It’s funny that even when you know you’re suffering from fatigue and overexertion, and you know you need a break, you still can’t stop thinking about work. Even when you are finally able to get some rest, you feel guilty! Even if you don’t have to do any work, you still keep on doing it, even if it’s just thinking about it.

6 – You’re always in a bad mood

Fatigue tends to put us in a bad mood. But when exhaustion has reached its limits and your body should be resting, that crankiness becomes chronic. If you also turn cynical, unpleasant, or rude then it’s a definite sign you should be slowing down.

Health and memory

7 – You have trouble remembering information

Fatigue and stress can make it hard for you to remember the simplest of information. For example, forgetting things as simple as where you put the keys or not remembering to add a basic ingredient when you cook. Also getting confused about everyday things and always changing where you put things. All of this means you probably need a break. You need to reboot your mind.

Girl with a headache

8 – Your health is deteriorating

Continuous fatigue and stress affect the immune system. Your health is affected and you become more vulnerable to colds and flu. You may also experience a concerning weight loss or gain and have frequent headaches or migraines. Your heart rate make increase too, which can indicate an increased risk of heart disease.

9 – You make more and more mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when these mistakes are made too often, especially if they are silly mistakes, then it’s time to start worrying. What was just a silly mistake at the start could become something far more serious in the future.

Stop for a rest, but also to think

When we talk about taking a break, it’s usually because we need to rest physically and mentally. We need to clear our minds and set them free. Release our stress and allow the body to recover. But we also need to stop and think. We need to re-think our situation and analyze what we are doing and what is actually happening to us.

Girl resting

This whirlwind of life we’re caught up in doesn’t always allow us to think clearly. It’s easy to get carried away, and just go along with the momentum we’ve created for ourselves. However, in the long run there’ll be a price to pay, which will often be a long, forced break due to illness. Is it really worth it?

Stop, rest and think about what you want to do, why you are doing what you are doing and if you are heading towards what you want to achieve.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.