I’m a girl from a farm, bred from generations of working-class people who broke their back performing blessed labour. Rest was an absolute indulgence, for more wealthy people. Our honour was in how hard we could push ourselves.
I always thought, the harder I work the better I am. The more I push myself, the more worthy I am. The more productive I am, the more legitimate I am.
This is a myth I’ve had to carefully break down for myself, as I am prone to burnout, which oftentimes can become sobriety threatening.
Did you know there were seven types of rest?
1) Mental rest (unplugging from work, distracting with something pleasurable)
2) Emotional rest (letting off some emotional steam, sharing yourself without fear of judgement)
3) Social rest (reconnecting with yourself, turning down social obligations that are triggering)
4) Creative rest (declutter, take a break from a project you’re blocked with, do something ridiculous with your art)
5) Sensory rest (fresh air, turn off electronics, quiet time)
6) Spiritual rest (meditate, read something to do with your spiritual practice, pray)
7) Physical rest (take a nap, get comfy, do yoga instead of an intense work out)
So rather than berate myself for being a human being, who physically cannot be 100% all the time, when my tank gets low, and I feel my emotional vulnerability spike, I ask myself: “What type of rest do I need right now?”
How do you honour rest? Where are areas you can find more rest in your life?
Three tiny things:
- Take a form of rest today.
- If you feel yourself doomscrolling or checking out whilst browsing the news, try and stop yourself and look at something that doesn’t fill you with dread.
- Write a letter to yourself, consider the changes you have felt over the past few weeks.