Is all your hard work actually stopping you from being more effective and productive? If you find yourself always in ‘go mode’, consider slowing it down to recharge.
Do you consider yourself a high achiever? Then resting may not be your forte.
And while you may be actively working on changing that, you find yourself struggling to do it. That can especially hold true when you’ve spent most of your life on a rollercoaster of working hard and burning out. But why do you burn out in the first place?
Because you don’t know how to rest.
Being a hard worker is such a wonderful character trait, and this world absolutely needs passionate people who are make it a better place for all of us. However, as important as it is to know how to work diligently towards your life’s goals and purpose, it is just as crucial for you to know how to rest well.
Rest, as counterintuitive as it may seem, is a necessity for hard work.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in an endless cycle of waking up exhausted to force yourself to get in an unenjoyable workout, scarfing down breakfast as you’re walking out the door and doing all you can not to spill your oversized coffee cup as you drive to work.
Then you work a full day only to come home and plop on the couch, not even wanting to think about dinner but starving all at the same time as you grab an unsatisfying bite to eat before heading to bed just to do it all again in the morning.
It’s not sustainable, friends.
So what if resting is really tough for you, especially when the world we live in is ‘on’ 24/7 and demands that we be on the same schedule? Here are a couple of suggestions that will help you learn to not only work hard, but rest well through your weeks.
1. EASE INTO YOUR DAY
Waking up right before having to walk out of the house just isn’t fun when you feel rushed and scrambling to get to work. A better alternative is to ease into your day by giving yourself time to wake up before you leave for the day. Spend some time praying or meditating to create a calm mental space for the day.
Fit in some gentle movement to help wake your body, and prepare a nourishing breakfast. Taking time to actually prepare a meal, even if it’s simply throwing toast into the toaster and slathering it with peanut or almond butter, can help you slow down and feel “rested” even before your work day begins. Take the time to eat, savor, and enjoy your morning coffee or matcha. These simple changes to help you ease into your mornings will make all the difference with how the rest of your day proceeds.
2. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
It may sound like a given, but all too often we don’t rest because we haven’t given ourselves permission to rest. Rest may feel like you’re not trying hard enough, not doing enough, or being lazy. But the truth is, you need rest just as much as you need productivity. In fact, let’s agree you probably need rest more!
Start by making a simple mindset change, and simply say to yourself, “I deserve rest, and I am no less if I take a break”. Giving yourself permission to rest is necessary for doing all the other things you love in life, and doing them to the best of your ability. Listen to your body, and ask if the need for rest is what it’s telling you.
3. HAVE EMERGENCY STRESS REDUCING MECHANISMS
Stress is inevitable, but long-term stress can wreak havoc on your life and health by making it more difficult to relax and rest. And when you’re in the moment of feeling stressed out without a plan in place to decrease it, it can be tough to rest when you need it the most. Have a couple of methods in mind that are helpful for those times you feel anxious, stressed, and don’t know what to do.
They can be as simple as deep breathing for a few minutes, or going outside in nature and walking while listening to relaxing music. By making it a point to know which activities can help you lower your stress levels, it will much easier to actually put them into action and feel more at peace.
4. SET ASIDE REGULAR, INTENTIONAL “YOU” TIME
Call it a date with yourself if you’d like, but either way, you need time for you. This is a time to process how life is going for you, and a time to reset and recharge.
If this sounds foreign to you, start small by setting aside a few hours each week, or one day a month, to do something that makes you feel fulfilled. That can be taking the time to go on a run by yourself, listening only to the sounds of nature around you and feeling your feet on the ground. Or you can go to your favorite coffee shop and read for an hour if that fills you up and brings you joy. The key is making sure to schedule the time to actually do it.
The bottom line: hard work requires good rest. Learn to do both because just like all things in life,
You need balance to be healthy and happy.
Adapted from the original article.
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Victoria Yates, RN is a Registered Nurse & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor based in Westchester, NY who focuses on helping women reach a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. She is passionate about guiding others reprogram negative thoughts around food and body image so they may experience a truly joyful life. Learn more about Victoria Yates Nutrition.