“Do I need to rest or is it lack of motivation?”

Last week, one of the members of UNMEASURED [the virtual barre membership that celebrates your body + helps you to cultivate a more joyful, intuitive relationship with movement] asked me…

“How do you recognize the need for rest versus lack of motivation when it comes to movement?”

Like all things connected to intuitive movement (+ intuitive eating, too) the answer is not cut and dry.

Instead, it requires you to be curious with and connect to YOUR body’s wisdom.

I’d love to support you to do that today!

An intuitive, joyful relationship with movement has a lot of benefits like:

  • Decreased symptoms of depression
  • Decreased symptoms of anxiety
  • Improved health biomarkers (i.e. cholesterol)
  • Increased strength
  • Improved body attunement
  • Increased flexibility + mobility
  • Improved body image
  • Increased confidence
  • Freedom from rules, rigidity, and self-punishment


When you have an intuitive, joyful relationship with movement, REST is also an important part of that relationship.

Rest is essential.

As a human, you need rest. It’s not something that has to be earned. It’s not the “less than” option. It’s not something you have to make up for. Rest has inherent value and you are free to enjoy it anytime.

Notice if you have any judgments, “shoulds,” rules, or fears around rest that might be coming up for you here.

As we dive into this awesome question about discerning between the true need for physical rest and lack of movement motivation, I want you to remember these truths: rest is an essential and valuable element of a joyful, intuitive relationship with movement.

It’s not always either / or.

Take the pressure off of yourself to discern the difference perfectly. The truth is, they aren’t two totally separate experiences. It’s not always either or… They are connected and there are many situations that are both and.

i.e. Sometimes you might be physically exhausted and because of that you have no motivation to move your body.

With the pressure to discern perfectly removed, with the knowledge that rest is essential + doesn’t have to be earned, and with the understanding that many situations will be “both and,” I’d love to share some ways for you to be curious with and connect to your body’s wisdom.

Move (or rest) toward your desired feeling.

Identify how you feel in the present moment and how you’d like to feel in the near future.

What action will help you to move toward your desired feeling?

i.e. Maybe in the current moment you’re feeling exhausted and you want to feel rested. In that situation, physical rest may be the clear choice.

i.e. Maybe you’re feeling “blah” or “meh” (I know you know that I’m talking about here) and you want to feel energized. In that situation, movement could be incredibly supportive!

Give yourself permission to change your mind.

Yes, movement has some great benefits. No, it doesn’t need to feel like every workout is a life or death situation.

When I was in a very UN-intuitive relationship with movement… obsessive, rigid, fear-driven… I felt like my workouts were one of the most important parts of my life. It’s incredibly freeing to acknowledge “actually, this isn’t the most important thing in my life. This doesn’t have to be a super big deal. This isn’t life or death! I can feel it out, try it out, and change directions at any moment without the whole world falling apart.”

There can be fluidity, flexibility, and freedom in your relationship with movement and that can take some of the pressure off here.

Just because you start moving doesn’t mean you have to keep moving if it doesn’t feel good.

i.e. You’re genuinely unsure if you need to rest or not so you click play on an UNMEASURED barre class: Maybe 5 minutes in you realize it feels so good to move your body so you keep going. Maybe 5 minutes in you might realize, “actually I’m not up for this today + you pause.” Starting with full permission to change your mind gives you the opportunity to tune in + act accordingly.

Think about your future self.

Everyone has a unique set of experiences and relationship to movement. Think about yours for a moment.

You may be working to be more intuitive with movement after years of being obsessive, rigid, and self-punishing.

You may be working to be more intuitive with movement after healing from an injury or illness.

You may be working to be more intuitive with movement after years of rejecting movement because of fear, judgment, painful past experiences, etc.

You may have never liked moving your body in the traditional ways that are taught in gym class or spots and are now trying to be more intuitive with movement as a way to connect with joy!

There are millions of unique movement stories and only you know yours.

Likewise, only you know what you’re working to strengthen in your relationship with movement.

If you’ve struggled with over-exercising in the past and you’re working to give yourself more permission to rest, then what’s most loving to your future self might be to err on the side of resting more when there is a question.

If you’re new to a movement practice and are working to create more consistency with movement to build up strength + mobility, then you may want to err on the side of trying a few minutes of movement and seeing how that feels (with full permission to stop)!

What are you working toward for your future self? What would be loving for her?

Move in ways you actually enjoy.

If you genuinely enjoy the way you’re moving your body, it will be easier to know if you feel like moving or not (psst… A good check point for this is if you dread each time you go to move and are miserable the entire time).

What makes you feel good? What do you enjoy? Connect with this!

Lastly, needs matter but wants do, too.

Sometimes you NEED rest. Obviously rest is important in those moments! Sometimes you just want it (even if it’s not technically a need). Your wants + desires matter, too! If you want to rest, that’s totally valid.

Above all remember, you are the expert on you! Your body knows best.

xo, Sim

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