I speak with a lot of women who are trying to do it all. We’re trying to kill it at work, while keeping our homes sparkling clean, maintain a social life and manage our well-being. If you’re in a relationship, you want that to thrive. If you’ve got kids, you’re wanting to be the best parent.
That felt incredibly difficult before, then you add COVID-19 to the mix and it’s just impossible.
For many women, their time is further crunched. We miss that feeling of productivity that can feel hard to achieve when we’re constantly in the same place – our homes! The to-do list might be growing, expectations at work are still high regardless of how things have changed.
And so many women sacrifice rest. We stay up late to get some “me time” even though we know it’s going to make us feel tired and groggy the next day. We want to get that one more thing crossed off our list.
What we’re doing is saying that rest isn’t important. Sleep when we’re dead and all that.
I want to say this clearly – rest is productive.
It’s not a nice to have. It’s a must have for efficiency, mood, joy and less stress.
If you want to be on the ball at work – you need to be well rested. If you want to have great conversations with friends and family – you need to be well rested. If you want to be a great parent and not constantly snap at your kids – you need to be well rested.
I could go on and on and on. Rest is a must.
So how do we shift that mindset for you? It depends on what works for you. For some people I say “add it to your to-do list”. If you thrive from a check list, add it, then you’ll feel like you’re being productive.
For others that feels counterproductive and makes rest a chore. For them I say write yourself a permission slip and post it somewhere obvious. Maybe it says “rest is productive”.
I don’t want you to be in the mindset that you have to earn rest or that it needs to be deserved. Rest is a requirement.
Depending on what I have going on in a day, yes there are evenings where I go to bed early or relax on the couch with my trashy reality TV. It took me a long time to process that this was more than okay. I had to let go of the guilt of the laundry, dishes, etc.
Your domestic chores, your work and your to-do list are not going anywhere. You can’t get it all done today. What you CAN achieve each day without fail is rest, should you choose to prioritize it.
So while the to-do list continually populates… you can firmly check off rest each day. I call that pretty damn productive, how about you?
This month in the Stress Less Habits Challenge, it’s all about creating a solid evening routine. This can be the perfect way to make rest even more attractive to you. Tie nice things to your bedtime – your favourite tea in your favourite mug, a soak in the bath, some essential oils, a meditation, a stretch, some moisturizer… it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it makes you feel relaxed and calm. Make your bedtime something you look forward to, not just something that happens when you’ve worked your way through the days’ chores.
Whenever you’re feeling stress and tension, fill up that rest bucket. That can be actually closing your eyes and falling asleep, or it can be resting your mind and body. If you’re tired, let your body refuel. Eat to replenish your nutrition, drink water, rest in a comfortable place and stop DOING, start BEING. BE rested. BE relaxed. BE still.
As a type-A doer, this has been one of the hardest things for me to learn, but quite frankly I was forced into it. Shingles made me rest. And when I didn’t listen to the needs of my body after round one of shingles, round two was the solid kick up the ass I needed. You either care for yourself now or you’ll be forced to care for it when you get sick or burn out. Rest is non-negotiable.
If you’re still on the fence and saying “what about those people who only sleep four hours a day like Richard Branson?” To that I say… you’re not Richard Branson. That’s clearly how HIS body works. It’s not the norm. You cannot force your body to accept less rest. Stop comparing how much you can do in a day to anybody else. You’re you. And you’re enough. Let’s get YOU as rested as we can, then just wait and see how your performance improves. The studies support it – more breaks, rest and sleep leads to higher quality of work.
So rest up, my friends. Rest up.