“Rest is a productive activity” – Sophia Joan
Let's read that again: "Rest is a PRODUCTIVE activity."
All together now: "REST IS A PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY."
I was scurrying around one recent Saturday morning, scarfing down a bagel, making my bed, sorting laundry, and prepping for a Zoom at 8:30 and a writing group at 9:30. I was facing a plethora of household/financial adulting chores for the weekend. (Sound familiar?) Also... I was exhausted. The week prior was a doozie and insomnia had just finished an incredibly efficient three-night run. Nothing was working as hard as the caffeine flowing from my Mr. Coffee to muster my motivation for the day!
During one of the trips in and out of my room with laundry loads, on an impulse I stopped, folded the covers back, moved the shams, fluffed the pillows, and put the book back on the bed. I wanted a visual reminder to rest. At that moment, I gave myself permission to crawl back into bed at any time during the day to recoup and lose my thoughts in the absurd and darkly endearing world of Owen Meany*.
Intentional, thoughtful rest is a vital part of self-care and one we, as women, often neglect. On the "All The Things" list, quiet time often gets deprioritized, pushed back, or ignored completely as something that can be skipped or made up later.
Here is the truth. Proper rest comes with some seriously positive kickbacks.
Well-being: Better physical, mental, and emotional health resulting in increased energy and vitality.
Productivity: Improved focus, decision-making, and overall efficiency.
Empowerment: Emotional resilience and stress reduction breeds healthy boundaries and self-care.
The pause to plan a possible nap that Saturday morning was a whim that worked spectacularly well. The open invitation to curl up and rest at will was surprisingly self-assuring and the couple of hours of dozing and reading later that afternoon was nothing short of magical. Not that napping is new to me, but it was more than just the nap.
It was the PLAN to nap.
The decadence of a cup of chamomile tea, a turned-down bed, and a good book were scheduled into the day just like everything else.
Now every weekend morning I get up, make coffee, make the bed, turn down the covers, pick out a book, and may or may not even put a chocolate mint on the pillow.
For me, turning the bed down was something my mom did for us when we were sick. What is something that invites you to slow down and get comfortable? Pajamas in the middle of the day? Reading by the pool? Falling asleep to a guilty-pleasure show? Turning the AC down and curling up with your favorite blanket? Lying on the floor counting ceiling tiles in your fuzzy socks? Whatever it is... do it. Set an alarm to remind you. Put a Post-it note on the fridge. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Put it on The Google.
Whatever it takes. Remember to set aside time to slow down, clear your mind, and remind yourself that "Rest is a productive activity."
*A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
This article was published in the Fall edition of Focus On Fabulous magazine.
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This blog is a personal collection of my thoughts, wins, losses, memories, and crossroad moments. Almost all of which were hashed out around my kitchen counter and in my journals. If any of it resonates with you and you are ready to free up the hidden badass you ARE right now, I can help. It’s time… Click the link and Let’s chat.