This one is for my over thinkers, my anxiety suffers, my bitches that are just having a shit day. This one is for you.
Honestly, some days you just can’t get motivated. If you’re anything like me, sitting and doing nothing all day isn’t well needed rest or a peaceful Sunday afternoon. To me this is internal chaos where I constantly feel like I should be doing something productive instead of watching six hours of Netflix. So, even though I should be relaxing and resting for the busy week to come, I still have this tangled mess of guilt in my stomach that prevents me from actually enjoying doing nothing. How in the fuck are we supposed to rest when we can’t allow ourselves to?
There’s a few things that have helped me to justify rest with myself. Because rest is essential. Resting is okay and it is just as important as working hard. Sometimes you need those days of doing nothing to continue doing everything. And we need to learn to be okay with resting. These are some tips that have helped me to enjoy and welcome my rest time.
Acknowledge that rest is productive
Often times we feel anxiety about doing nothing because we feel like we should be doing something but we need to understand that resting is doing something. Resting after physical or emotional exhaust is productive.
Let’s look at it this way, everything needs a balance. It’s unhealthy to work all the time and never rest and it is also unhealthy to rest all the time and never work. You have to create a balance within yourself that will keep you mental and physically well. Some people may lean more towards the work side or the rest side, but there needs to be a chance to fulfill both sides to the individual’s necessity.
Once you understand that rest is essential and a part of productivity, it won’t be seen so much as laziness. Because it isn’t being lazy.
I work 6 days a week and usually very long days, whether it’s the restaurant, the bar, or home office work, I’m usually starting my day at 6:00 am and going until 10:00 pm. Some days I’ll be working for most of those 16 hours, some days are only 11 hour days. That’s still a considerable chunk of my week spent working. So, when my one day off rolls around, sometimes I don’t want to get caught up on the dishes or laundry. Most of the time I just want to lay on the couch eating junk food, cuddling with my cats, and hitting “Yes I’m still watching” about 10 times. But I notice that by the end of the amazing, relaxing day, I just feel kind of terrible. And it’s the guilt of being “unproductive” all day that makes me feel terrible.
Acknowledging that I worked my ass off all week and overall I was super productive makes it a little easier to stomach taking one day to do nothing. Knowing that resting is a part of being productive and understanding that if I don’t rest I will burn out and then I’ll really be unproductive. It’s a cycle and a process and it is so very beneficial to rest when your body needs it.
Still do small things
While I truly believe that you don’t have to earn your right to rest, sometimes it helps ease the anxiety of resting if you still continue to do small things that will allow your mind to grant you that peace.
Last week I spent a considerable amount of time on my couch. When my mind would start to get a little rowdy and try to make me feel guilty for feeling unproductive, I would pause the tv, get up and do something small around the house. Whether it was switching out laundry, putting dishes away, sweeping the floor, tidying up the bathroom, whatever it was, I would take the ten or fifteen minutes needed to take care of it. And then I would go sit back down on the couch.
Sure, I could have knocked out all the chores at the start of the day and spent an hour or two getting everything done, but my body needed to rest and I just couldn’t get myself up and active for more than ten minutes at a time. The point is that I gave myself little tasks to complete and when I completed them, I allowed myself that time to rest.
Making small goals every day is a great way to realize how productive you are being. Even if you have ten items on your list and you only get to 3, that’s 3 things that you’ve done that day that you could have not done. And every little thing that you do counts.
Give yourself the day
Sometimes we literally just can’t do anything. There’s been so many days of mine that I would plan to do so many things and I just end up doing none of those. I’ll let the dishes and laundry go for another day. I will light candles instead of cleaning the litter boxes. I’ll get food delivered because I can’t even get in the car to go anywhere. These are the days where I just have to give myself the day.
Giving yourself the day means allowing yourself to do nothing. Take this day as a full on rest day. Don’t lift one pretty little finger. Nap all day. Watch tv. Read a book. Don’t even put on pants.
If your body or mind aren’t allowing you to do much of anything, rest. There are so many things that you can do tomorrow if you just give yourself today.
When we are sick with the flu, if we push ourselves and don’t rest, it takes us longer to get over it. Our body needs rest and down time to stay healthy. Our bodies will tell us when we need rest. So, when you are feeling especially unproductive, take that as a sign from our bodies that we need to take care of this. We need to rest so that we stay healthy.
The effects that exhaustion can have on the body aren’t always mental, they are physical too. When we push ourselves consistently and don’t rest, we can have impaired vision or judgement, headaches, muscle aches, irritability, reduced immune system, appetite changes, and it will greatly affect anxiety and depression.
When we are resting, we are helping our body continue to be healthy and strong for us so that we can keep going. When we have to give ourselves the day, or even just sacrifice a few things off of our to do list, we are taking care of ourselves.
Stop feeling guilty or lazy for taking time to rest. Allow yourself to take that nap. Allow yourself to binge watch tv for six hours straight. Allow yourself to do nothing at all. And allow yourself to enjoy it. Because you need it and you deserve it.
Rest up, bitches. We can come back and slay tomorrow.