I LOVE to rest. I love to DO NOTHING. In fact, I create blocks of DO NOTHING in my calendar on the regular! If it ain’t scheduled, it doesn’t happen! I want to teach a class on how to rest, because after this year, I think I’ve nailed it!
I was discussing this topic with my two younger sisters who I’m often encouraging to rest more sans guilt. One is a mother of two little ones and the other is working a full time job whilst running a creative business on the side. They are often burned out and as a result end up resting once they’ve already gotten sick – a sign that it’s well overdue!
You see, I grew up in a family that valued productivity to the max (I’m sure many of you can relate). There was no resting, no chilling, no maxing or relaxing of any kind. If you weren’t at school (getting A’s no less), or doing homework you were doing house chores.
Anytime my dad saw me sitting down or watching tv, he’d immediately say: “What are you sitting there for? Life isn’t about having fun, it’s about getting things done!”. As a teenager, wanting to push boundaries, I definitely defied that sort of thinking and took pride in trying to frustrate my father by ‘doing nothing’ when he was around.
I just couldn’t agree that life wasn’t about having fun. I believed that life needed to feel light, and spacious, and the constant pressure I felt from having to be productive, and doing things, felt exhausting. It didn’t seem right to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m also really grateful that I am someone who can ‘get things done’. There has to be a balance. I’ve always had a really strong sense of productivity and motivation to see things through instead of always procrastinating (maybe a little procrastinating, let’s be honest), AND I think prioritizing rest proactively is essential.
If you’re someone who rests at the point of exhaustion, or sickness, there might be an opportunity for a shift. I’ve been practicing rest as an essential part of my day (yes day, not week or month, EVERY DAY) and it’s been really impactful. I know that many of us don’t have the luxury to rest when we want – there are responsibilities, children, family, work, among other things, but I really do believe we can all find a way to carve it out, even if it’s a short amount.
The kind of rest I’m talking about doesn’t have guilt attached to it. It feels right, freeing, empowering, strengthening and truly makes you even more powerful than you ever were. It’s like when Mario eats a mushroom and he grows twice his size and kicks ass! (until it wears off, and he needs to eat another mushroom again!).
It can be odd at first, just doing nothing can feel weird, strange, not right, but trust me, breathe, stay there, and repeat, it gets easier, and you’ll feel relief.
The last couple of weeks have been truly glorious – and for that I’m so grateful. I’ve had time off work, lots of quiet time and space to just BE. I’ve been focusing on little home projects which I love, some writing and organizing as well. This pandemic has been hard on a lot of us, but one thing I am hearing from a lot of my friends is just how much they’ve loved the quiet time relaxing. A time where it’s often busy, busy, go, go, go, people have been forced to stay home, not travel, which means they get to rest. I think it’s very needed, and I know I’ll be doing more of this come next holiday season. I honestly think I’ve added 5 years to my life, regenerating cells and bone growth!
Here’s to you and yours! I hope you find your chill! And with that, I rest my case!