I have been tired a lot lately. Now this is quite normal at the beginning of spring what with the season changing and all. But I have been tired more than usual. Or maybe I have only been feeling like that because I am actually stopping and resting? Chicken and egg, right?
But it is true. In the past, whenever I was tired, I would usually shrug it off. Too much to do, too little time. You can sleep when you’re dead…and so on.
So I would push on, do the project, go to the dinner, see the show, just so that I would not miss out. Because life is short and you have to live it to its fullest, right?
Well yes. And no.
What I realized was, that in the past, I would check in with my clarity, my mind and see if whatever I was agreeing with was aligned with my vision. And when it was, I would do it. Go full speed ahead.
So what changed?
I now not only check my clarity and mind, but I also check in with my body.
Yup. My body.
I ask my body how much energy it actually has. I do this in the morning when I get up. I also ask it what I need to receive. Not what I need to get. Receive. That way I know how much I have left to give and what I need to let in.
I also do this whenever an opportunity (a dinner with a friend, a new project, a request for collaboration etc) arrives. I first check in with my body now before even asking my mind 🙂 Because my mind is a strong negotiator and will always want to do fun projects which my body just has no energy for.
So lately I have been resting a lot.
And I can’t believe how tired I am. I feel like I have been catching up on all those years that I didn’t rest.
I am not talking about sleeping. I am talking about resting.
There is a HUGE difference. Yes, sleep is very important, but REST is even more so.
Sleep takes care of your body and brain and makes sure you digest all the information.
Rest for me goes into a deeper level. It touches your soul.
- Rest does not necessarily mean that you do nothing. But it does mean that you do things slow or slower.
- Rest can be a creative activity like painting, listening to music, reading.
- Rest is having an afternoon without plans, a calendar without shoulds and musts.
- Rest is taking a slow walk in the woods, hugging your kids, breakfast in bed.
- Rest can be as simple as closing your eyes to listen to your breathing for a while.
- Rest can be meditating.
Rest can be as short as 5 minutes from time to time to be beneficial. Sleep usually needs a little longer as it needs to conclude the different stages of sleep.
Do you get enough rest?
If you’re like me or any of my clients, then the answer is no for sure.
No need to go to bed earlier to catch up on some snooze (although that is something I recommend as well).
Simply look at your day(s) and see where you can fit in short periods of rest and how they could look like.
- I set a timer at work (birds singing) to remind me to take a quick break from things.
- I block times in my agenda that are for creative work instead of simple productive work.
- I keep at least one night of my week free of any appointments so that I can rest.
- Even on a busy day, there is always time to simply swivel your chair around, look at the window and breathe for a minute.
Resting needs to be a genuine part of how live and function. You need to consciously schedule it in. Like fitness, it needs to be something you just do.