It seems so simple, doesn’t it? “Let yourself rest.” You’re probably thinking, ‘Of course I let myself rest.’ But do you really? Think about it for a minute. I’ll wait.
This weekend has been an extra-long weekend for me. My husband and I had a trip planned since the summer, but the venue had to cancel the event due to a recent hurricane in the area. Instead of going back to the office, I decided to take the time off anyway. You may remember from some of my prior blog posts that the role in my day job changed drastically, and I decided that crushing those changes constituted some much-needed time off, even if it meant staying in town.
I laid on the couch, I didn’t do chores, I even got involved in a new (to me) Netflix series that I can already tell is going to be a fixation.
On other occasions, restfulness wasn’t so easily achieved. There were vivid dreams with extremely strange, uncomfortable plot points. I did laundry, I created new pages here on my website, I cooked and cleaned. Okay, okay, so those last few were beneficial and productive, and I’m glad they got done, believe me. But they opened up my eyes to something within myself that I never thought would be much of a problem.
It’s hard for me to really rest.
You know the kind of rest I mean. Time seems to disappear and lose all meaning. You’re so in the present, so fully experiencing your relaxation and enjoyment in whatever it is you are doing that nothing else has room in your mind. There are no to-do lists, nothing to try to remember, nothing to mentally focus on except what is right in front of you, right then, in that present moment.
I think it takes more to really rest these days than it used to. At least it feels that way to me. I sat outside for a few minutes today during this brief spurt of warm, sunny weather and purposefully left my phone inside.
Since the launch of my freelance business this summer, I’ve spent far more time on devices in order to promote the business I’ve built and the new services I’ve begun offering. I design and create brand-focused social media graphics, schedule social media posts, communicate with my business mentor and fellow freelancers, and promote my new weekly Facebook live sessions, all of which take time on one device or another.
As someone who once made it a personal point not to engage in social media very often, after becoming a business owner, things changed. A big mental shift had to take place in order to go from ignoring social media to having a business to promote, and I learned to actively identify relevant situations in my life in order to engage with those platforms in an organic way.
These days, I catch myself during workouts or meal prepping thinking, “Oh, this would make a good addition to my Instagram story.” These moments used to be my Me Time. I didn’t think about other things during my workouts or while cooking except for how personally satisfying those activities are to me, and how much value they add to my life. Hm. That’s something to consider.
So, did you think about it? Do you really let yourself rest? I know, it’s hard. I struggle with it, too. We live in a society that places insanely high value on productivity. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But I know the hype is just part of a mindset, and to me, that is good news. Because a mindset can be changed! Here’s something I’ve really found helpful (from Pinterest, of course) that may resonate with you:
Rest is just as valuable as an accomplishment as Getting Shit Done, and you need rest to carry on being your amazing self. Give yourself the gift of rest.
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