It’s Okay to Give Yourself Permission to Rest
“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.”– Mark Buchanan
It seems that the majority of us humans unconsciously avoid rest. Not because we want to, but because we don’t want to seem like a “failure” or appear “lazy” to others. Society teaches us that being busy is what will lead us to success, happiness, and fulfillment. And while that’s true in a certain sense, I believe it’s essential to make rest a priority.
Rest is just as important as progress (if not more) and should not be overlooked. And rest definitely should not be viewed as laziness.
For most of us, our weeks are filled with appointments, school, work, and other obligations. Anything that comes up during the week we schedule for the weekend. Before we know it, it’s Sunday evening and we’re preparing for another week ahead.
We are always on the go with something to do or somewhere to be without any time saved for ourselves. Giving yourself a regular break should always be a part of your routine, whether you need that to occur daily, weekly, or monthly. Whatever amount of time you personally need to fully recharge.
I’m not necessarily talking about sleep (which is important too, but a whole other topic for another day). I’m referring to taking the time to give yourself space to unwind from the everyday pressures of your life.
Isaac and I have what we like to call our “lazy weekends”. At least once a month, we have a weekend where we don’t make any concrete plans. We stay at home and do not go anywhere. We also don’t make plans for any big projects around the house.
Sometimes we might go our separate ways and revel in a personal hobby that we haven’t had time for. Or we may bust out some board or card games and share some laughs together. We also like to spend evenings roasting marshmallows at the fire pit and enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes we create our very own spa day at home and indulge in facial masks with a cup of hot tea.
The point is, find whatever it is that brings you true rest and relaxation. Find something that speaks to you.
- It could be a nap if that is what your body needs. Sometimes a nap is all I need to feel rejuvenated.
- It could also be a lazy Sunday (or entire weekend) spent on the couch binge-watching your favorite shows or movies. Pop some popcorn or have an ice cream bar and make a special night out of it.
- Maybe rest for you is simply a nice bubble bath along with some relaxing music and lighted candles. Or perhaps it’s laying out on the hammock in your backyard and getting lost in a book.
I know – it all seems so simple. If you’re anything like me, you often have trouble letting yourself unwind for fear of appearing lazy.
It’s just a behavior that’s ingrained within you after years of being expected by culture to stay busy. If you do this, it will get you that. If you go to this, you will meet this person. If you don’t do this or go to that, you will miss out on this opportunity. Whenever something like this happens, it can cause some serious FOMO (fear of missing out).
One thing I know for sure is that sometimes, it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break. And in fact, it’s absolutely necessary.
Since we were all tricked into thinking that being busy is what’s best, it can be a real struggle to view rest as an essential component of your overall well-being. If you’re not doing something, you’re stagnant. And if you’re stagnant, you’re lazy. But that simply isn’t true.
Some of my best ideas and “aha” moments came out of a period of rest. I was able to give myself space to decompress and just be alone with my thoughts. In some situations, I was able to focus on something I loved and made some memories in the process. Or I was able to really dissect and work through something that was bothering me.
So please – don’t forget to take time for yourself. You are entitled to rest once in a while. In fact, we all are.
Allowing yourself some down time doesn’t mean you’re a lazy person. It just means you value both your mental and physical health. And most of all, you value yourself.
After the last year and a half, the whole world deserves some lazy time. The ongoing pandemic has been a complete whirlwind for us all. It has impacted every single one of us in some way or another.
Some of us are working from home while also having to be a teacher to our children. Some of us lost jobs or are logging more hours at work than they ever have before. And others have actually even been able to step back and take some time to focus on themselves.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, I hope you’ve had some time for yourself. And if you haven’t, my wish for you going forward is knowing that it’s perfectly okay to take a step back and relax. Even if everything seems like it’s breaking at the seams.
So how about you? Do you find it hard to give yourself permission to rest every now and then? If so, what prevents you from taking a break?