Two days ago, the clock struck 4:00pm and all I was secretly craving was to close up my computer, get under a blanket on the couch and watch a movie.
For a brief moment, I heard my inner critic interject:
You shouldn’t stop working yet; the day isn’t over. Think of everything you can still get done. What will people think if they knew you were watching a movie at 4pm on a Tuesday?
I noticed it: hi there, cultural programming.
And I sank back into what I know to be true:
I work plenty hard.
I don’t need to sit in my office for 10 hours a day to deserve rest.
I can trust what my body is telling me she needs.
It’s safe for me to rest when I need it, even in unconventional ways.
I know that if you’re here, you work hard, too.
Whether it’s in your job, or running your business, or being a mother, or taking care of the people around you, or working hard on your own healing, or heck – even just simply being a human during this overwhelming time we are in.
And I want to remind you that it’s okay to rest in unconventional ways.
Not just on the weekends. Not just after a 10 hour workday. Not just when society has told us it is “acceptable” to rest.
But at 4pm on a Tuesday.
You’re allowed to read a book in the middle of the day, even for 15 minutes, just for fun and because it rejuvenates you.
You’re allowed to sleep in for an hour on a Thursday morning, just because you can.
You’re allowed to rest while your baby is napping, instead of always feeling the need to be productive.
You’re allowed to only take client meetings three days a week to leave the other days for you, or manage your schedule for your own self-care.
You’re allowed to take a nap, anytime you want.
You’re allowed to stop working at 4pm because you feel complete, instead of continuing to work just because the clock says so.
You’re allowed to have a lazy Saturday morning, drinking coffee in your pajamas with your family until noon, instead of always feeling like you need to “do something”.
You’re allowed to reschedule things when you get your period, because you know it’s a sacred time for your body and mind to go inward.
You’re allowed to take little moments throughout your day to shut down your technology, close your eyes, and simply breathe in silence.
>>I know that not all of these examples are applicable to every person in every situation, and we all have varying amounts of flexibility, but I do know that no matter what, you are worthy of the rest you need. Even if it looks and feels unconventional.
As you move through your days, I encourage you to take note of where and how you want to rest and relax, and in what ways you stop yourself.
What are the stories you tell yourself about how you can’t rest or relax?
Where does this pressure come from?
If you actually listened to the natural rhythm of your body, and rested and relaxed in the ways you intuitively wanted to, what would that look like?
What are you worried might happen if you did follow that natural rhythm?
>>I encourage you to then experiment with this. For a day or two, live in accordance to your rhythm, as much as you can, and see what happens. See if your worries actually come to fruition, or if perhaps your ideas about what might happen are not actually true. Also note how you feel differently – physically, mentally and emotionally – when you lean into this rhythm.
Perhaps you find that when you slow down, you can actually speed up.
Perhaps you discover that you prefer working shorter days during the week, and then putting in a few hours of quiet, focused work time on Saturday mornings.
Perhaps you find that taking a 20 minute nap in the middle of the day helps your productivity, instead of hurting it.
The other day, I did end up crawling under a blanket and watching a movie with my mom at 4pm. These late afternoon rest sessions with my mom are one of the COVID memories I know I’ll miss, and it was worth every minute (and nothing bad happened!).
Your life gets to be a mix of productivity and rest.
Pushing and recovering.
Yang and yin.
Masculine and feminine.
Doing and being.
While our society pushes us to “do”, I hope this email lets you “be” a little more, without the guilt.