REST! As simple as this may sound, it is one of the most difficult things to have in this day and age when all we see around us information bombarding us on how to reach for the next thing, mostly materialistic. I am in no means saying that being ambitious or wanting better is a bad thing, in fact, I admire ambitious people always striving to better themselves and I see myself as one but I also strongly believe that to operate in your highest abilities it is imperative to include rest into your routine. Even Christ rested when we created the world so I am saying it is faith approved!
On a different tangent, I have found that some equate rest to being lazy which of course is very relative to the situation one finds themselves in. I do no dispute the fact that some people use the notion of rest to avoid working, particularly with the phrase ‘I cannot come and kill myself’ which we have all been found to use once or twice. Rest is this context, is taking a pause from an activity or stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength, which can be very ardous. So why is this such a difficult posture to take? You see, in the 24 hours that we all have in the day, it is so easy to get consumed with all the things we need to get done, whether you are in the corporate world of self employed, or the places we have to be in, the notion of taking time off to show some gratitude and rest does not even flicker through the mind.
Personally, I have struggled with finding rest these past few months because honestly, 2019 so far has been a year of pruning for me. Battles I never thought I would be fighting came in all directions that redirected my focus from being present to ‘managing’ and dealing. In the midst of all this, I had deliverables at work that I had to fulfil, some which were handed to me and others that I set myself up for. Combine all that with another personal goal of working on build friendships that may have suffered with all my busyness, and I was constantly tired to say the least, eventually, burnt out!
I didn’t have the time for anything but work, home, sleep, and repeat. It took me unfortunately having to be hospitalised, to actually get some rest which got me thinking about all that this year had been. My focus for the last 6 months was, “if only this would be happen then…”, or ” I wish someone will give me… then…”. It hit me in those days of forced rest that, there were things I could control and things I couldn’t and how I was responding to the things I couldn’t control was not just mentally exhausting but affecting my relationships because I was just becoming a mean person. I resolved to return to some practices or routines I had that helped me centre myself and my thoughts, this was not just overnight but it took constantly scheduling them and sometimes forgetting but most importantly trying.
- Journaling: While in the hospital, I got time to journal which I know and knew was my way of release. Pen on paper has always been so therapeutic for me, and I am not sure if its because it forces me to think and stay in the present or if its just the act itself of writing which generally been replaced with typing. Either ways, it works for me as such I have created time to do this every day. I have a number of journals but my Five Minute journal by Alex Ikonn is so simple to use. I love that you can create the day you want with the affirmation sections which is a real confidence booster, add in 3 things you want to achieve and then in the evening comment on those as well as what you are grateful for. It literally takes 5 minutes in the morning and evening to complete. Monthly, I use my Happiness Planner which allows me to review the past month, set goals for the new month, identify points to be grateful for and assess why I couldn’t achieve the goals I didn’t hit. You don’t need specific planners and journals just get a notebook and try writing to see if its your thing.
- Meal prep: I know, how does meal prep help you feel less anxious. I am an indecisive person when it comes to food choices especially when its more than 3 options. Just the process to decide makes me anxious and what’s even worse is if I finally decide and the food was not nice? Like what? I lost my money and did not enjoy the meal. This really bothers me and can set the tone for the rest of my day. I know, maybe I am extra but I am sure there quite a number of people out there like me. PS: Future hubby take note! To avoid this, I make it a point to meal prep over the weekend. My meal prep journey has evolved which is a story for another day, but creating food choices that I take to work and have for dinners is another thing that I can control which not only saves me money, gives me the enjoyment I need from food but also takes some level of stress away from me.
- Walking: Typing this out is still a shocking surprise to myself because I am yet to accept the fact that I enjoy walking. You don’t understand, my name has never been synonymous to any form of need based exercise and so to actively take evening walks is literally a miracle. I found that taking a stroll in my neighbourhood while listening to podcasts helps to keep my stress levels low while fulfilling the need to exercise my joints with such low impact workout. I am not so prickly about the distance I have walked as for me what’s important is that I do it.
- Therapy: Yes I said therapy, the dirty word! I had my own insights about who went for therapy but then again, I surprisingly booked myself a couple sessions to see if it will work. It turns out I do like talking to people who know little to nothing about myself and I mean talk for hours with little to no interruptions but guidance. My first 2 sessions were hard and it felt as if I was getting nothing out of it but the fact that my insurance was paying for these sessions I figured I will just go till the end. Turns out I was right to keep going because my process evolved. I will talk more about my experience in an upcoming blog.
- Sleep: Need I even say more about the benefits of sleep? We have heard the scientific benefits to your brain, longevity, energy and even weight loss. All I will say is that daily 8 hour sleep has done me real good this last month.
The point is you, need to take time to rest, rejuvenate, clear your mind and breath. Truth is if unfortunately something happens to you, your role will be advertised before you even leave the building. The same will be said if you are entrepreneur, that client will move on to another service provider or vendor. Burn out has been identified to be a factor of ineffectiveness and up to 20% low productivity so not sure if you would rather feel happy, rejuvenated and operate at a higher level or be tired, anxious, sometimes even depressed and feel like you are failing in life. I hope the former will be your utmost choice. Take care of your self and let me know how you rest in the comments below.