I just got back from a 4-day trip in George, or more specifically, Victoria Bay. We stayed in a modern wood cabin, Wifi and all, and had no more than birds as neighbours. It would be a minimisation to call how I feel, “refreshed’, more aptly, I feel renewed.
I would not have been able to fully enjoy this experience had it been 18 months ago. At that time I still struggled with allowing myself rest, of any kind. If I took a drawing book, my Kindle and a magazine as I had on this trip, I would have incessantly attempted to meet each task, lest I become lazy. Continuous, low-humming anxiety drove most of my pursuits. A powerful energy source, but one which erodes your enjoyment and ability to derive pleasure from achievements over time.
There is a single learning to which I can attribute my newfound ability to allow myself rest. I reframed rest to match the current phase of my life and state of mind; I view rest as productive. If you believe that you always show up at your peak, you are either continuously underperforming and misjudging your abilities or fast approaching a crushing burnout. Side note, the phrase “burnout” does not sufficiently convey the impact of burning out, it would be better described as a “total collapse!”
Viewing rest as productive makes it easier for me to surrender myself to times of rest and actively pursue them. I now recognise that if I only have 2 hours, I have less than 2 hours of productivity in my day. Not only am I robbing myself of the rest I deserve, but I am also taking away energy from my goals and plans.
As effective as this reframe is, it is only a bridge to a version of myself who will not wrestle with guilt when met with an opportunity to allow myself rest. For now, this works just fine. If you have had similar struggles with letting yourself rest, I hope this proves a useful reframe for you too!
Okay, talk soon. Be you, a rested you, and be great!
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