This is something I’ve talked about before, but I don’t think it can be said enough.
It is ok to rest.
It is ok to take time out for yourself.
It is ok to be unproductive and just do nothing.
In fact, I would go so far as to say it is not only ok, it is essential. It is an act of self care.
What is self care? It is any intentional act to care for yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This means self care can take many forms: one day it might be going for a run, another day it might be sleeping late. One day it might be making a green smoothie and taking time out with a novel, another day it might be having a drink with a good friend. It all comes down to doing what you need to do to take care of yourself.
An essential aspect of this is listening to your body, and tapping into your emotional needs. The reason I’ve singled rest out is because, while I don’t think anyone would argue against you going for a run or making a green smoothie to take better care of yourself, I do think that our culture has an absolute abhorrence to rest and being unproductive.
But sometimes, what you need most is rest. Sometimes what you need is to sleep late, or get some early nights, or say no to social engagements because you just want to stay in your pajamas and watch a movie. If this is what you feel you need, then do it. I can guarantee that denying that overwhelming urge to sleep because you’re just too busy will only come back worse later. Remember the oxygen mask – if you look after yourself properly, you are of better service to others.
In what ways do you already practice self care? Consider how you do this mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
How balanced is your current self care? For example, do you spent a lot of time at the gym but no time tending to your emotional needs? Or do you take care of yourself emotionally but do little to look after yourself physically?
How could you introduce more self care into your life? What might be some obstacles to doing so, and how can you overcome these?
What does the word ‘rest’ mean to you? Do you view it as positive or negative? Why? For example, some people associate it with laziness or sickness. Challenge any negative beliefs – how could they be wrong?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.