Hurry Up & Rest!
“Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be.” David Whyte
Here we are just halfway through the year and already so many people I have been connecting with are sharing stories of how exhausted they are feeling. So much to squeeze in, always feeling hurried, racing from one place to the next. Every time I ask a friend how they are feeling, they look at me with the expectation that I should already know, “you know – just busy!” To be totally transparent I often allow this response to roll off my tongue without a second thought too, because let’s face it, there is so much to keep us busy.
I was listening today to a florist telling another customer how sick she was feeling with the flu and it made me pause for a moment like really pause and think why are you working? Why are you not at home resting, tending to yourself, drinking soup and giving your body the time it needs to recover? I wonder, why have we become programmed to think that we must soldier on to work rather then look after the only physical body we have in this lifetime? And it’s not just the physical body that needs rest, it’s the emotional and the mental too.
Has rest become a dirty word? Do we associate it with being weak or lazy? Is it because we are taught that we can just pop a Codral and soldier on? To “fight back the tears” or to “not lose our cool.” We have more stimulus in this lifetime then we have ever had before, we have less privacy and we know way more about anyone then sometimes we really even need to know, we work longer hours, we sleep less due to worry, we eat on the run and we have totally accepted that busy is the new normal.
So how long can we keep all this going, before the flu becomes a more serious illness, when are we going to give ourselves permission to hurry up and rest?
Yes, Rest…(I said it) and by rest I don’t mean you have to lay down on the couch with your feet up, but that totally doesn’t hurt either. I mean REST, take time in every day to find a way to connect with yourself to recharge and energise so that you have more capacity to do the things that need doing and that you want to be doing, so you can be present to your loved ones and actually enjoy their company without the levels of stress, anxiety and resentment that is often attached.
For those unsure of Rest and how to do it I have complied a list especially for you.
Tips on How to Rest for Beginners: Reprioritise, Eliminate, Stress Free activities, Time out.
1.Re Prioritise – Write a list of the things and people that are the most important in your life and make sure they are taking up a good chunk of your schedule.
Learn to say NO. This may seem obvious but it takes a lot of practice. How often are you filling up your calendar with things you know you don’t have time for or secretly don’t want to do but you just haven’t learnt to say no. I learnt this wonderful replacement line for yes. It goes like this, ” I’m not sure, I will check in with what I’m doing and get back to you.” This response gives me time to do exactly that – check in, do I really want to do this? Do I have time? Is there something else I could do…like REST instead? Then when I deliver my No, I simply say “Thank you for asking but No I can’t do this or make this.” You do not need a thousand other excuses. No is enough and it is a way better alternative than doing something you don’t want to do with resentment.
2. Eliminate and Delegate – Are there things in your life right now that you could live without and take a rest from? Try this game by saying this line “Can I take a rest from….(insert energy suckers here) For example:
Can I take a rest from…Facebook (even if it’s just on the weekends)
From cooking dinner every night (delegate or eat out one night somewhere healthy)
From being the taxi driver all the time – can I car pool with someone?
3. Stress Free Activities – include these activities in your life, they are things that you love to do and don’t cause you any added stress, in fact they make you feel good afterwards, energised and renewed. Some activities may be things like yoga, walking on the beach or barefoot on the grass, reading instead of watching TV, connecting with friends or family who are positive, encouraging and uplifting.
4. Time out – yes this is when you actually stop for a period of time. Maybe it’s a holiday, maybe it’s a massage or facial. Maybe it’s for 10 minutes of meditation every day when you can pause, reconnect to your breath and find some time to rest your mind. Time out is essential especially if you are feeling run down. Sleep, it’s crucial to your health and the best time out you can have.
Remember some days will be busier than others but REST is essential for your health, your wellbeing, mentally and emotionally, your relationships, your productivity and most importantly your ability to keep going. If you know you are feeling run down or stressed or you see someone else that is, then maybe including rest into your schedule can begin to make all the difference.