Hey, you, are you taking time to rest? To relax and play?
Rest is such an integral part of holistic creativity, and simply being human.
I know it isn’t always easy to do and life can really get in the way of such an important act. Sometimes in the form of personal task, work, or even items we want to do but that don’t feel restful in our current state of mind.
And, sometimes, you end up resting but it is forced by mind and/or body and that underlying thread of “have to” can really make it hard to settle into and enjoy properly. Anxiety closes in around the edges and the things that are not happening make a mockery of your rest and your inability to do much.
I’ve definitely been there this last week. To the point that mentally the heels are dug in and there is no way in hell that any of my plans outside of my 9-5 job work are happening. And I really wanted to work on some things for myself.
This is the kind of rest that looks at what you have planned and laughs. It sees doing things as a threat. Which leaves you with anxiety about doing the thing, and anxiety about it not getting done. Fun!
But really, rest, even forced rest can be good. We need to rest, relax and play. It just so happens that sometimes our minds and/or bodies decide for us that the rest is happening. And that should probably be an indication that we need to listen to what our bodies and minds are telling us when we cannot do things.
That is the way I’ve been trying to look at this last week. What am I trying to tell myself. My busybody planner is well-meaning and still tends to overcommit my schedule with things that simply will not happen, even when I want them to. This week as no different on that front. Though it was different in other ways.
I needed to give myself grace because taking a week off the week prior meant that work would be twice as stressful as usual. And the allowance for that needed to be acknowledged. And, to be honest, I didn’t. Sometimes the transition from vacation back to work makes it hard to see the limitations, the honesty that is needed.
Likely I should have planned to rest, given myself the permission to rest from the beginning of the week. But that feels wrong, somehow. Like I’m not supposed to plan for rest, relaxation or play during my first week back at work after some time off. The already experienced time of rest somehow negates the very real need of further rest.
This post is being written on the day that I plan to post it…that is how much personal to do things got thrown off this week. Every time I considered sitting down to write I legitimately could not. There was stress on either end of the equation but rest allowed for the outs of scrolling mindlessly on my phone or reading a book so that won out. And, to be completely honest, there was way more phone scrolling than reading. Much to my annoyance.
But I am also learning that sometimes the overwhelm hides itself as the phone scrolling, as doing something mindless. I need to look for the ways in which I’m avoiding my overwhelm so that I can sit with it and make rest a priority to help mitigate such overwhelm. It is hard though when it still seems such a mystery, at times, what puts me into that overwhelmed state.
So, I will ask again, are you resting? Allowing yourself the permission to relax, to be honest with yourself when you need to rest? I know it is hard when everyday we are comparing ourselves to those who seem to effortlessly keep soldiering on. It doesn’t have to be you. You likely have different levels of tolerance for the things in life, and it is encouraged that you listen to yourself, your mind, your body on the matter. Contrary to popular belief not everyone needs to have the same tolerances for the same things.
We are all wonderfully individual, yet connected, so please take time to rest when you need. Who knows, maybe it will help someone else feel better able to be making their own call to rest. Let us be the change we would love to see in the world.
PS. I did make some art recently, based on this first piece that is still WIP. I am very happy that the creation of things does seem to take a lot less stress and anxiety, when I am not needing to rest, of course. I also thought is was appropriate since meditation is considered by some a form or rest. Below is Allie meditating and trying to center herself so that she can control her dark power more fully. The sketch I made more recently, below the WIP painting, is for the back cover of my hub's next book release.