In this article I talk about the importance of pressing pause and allow yourself some deep rest.
I’m back to work after three weeks of vacation spent at home with family and friends.
Something happened during this period where I pressed pause to rest and recharge. Something that I want to share with you in the hope that it will be as useful to you as it was to me.
I was about a week in to my holidays, when I noticed a strange feeling of impatience, and I was a bit moody.
Reflecting on it, I came to this realization:
I left for the holidays with the expectation that by stopping for a while I would certainly generate new ideas. With the certainty that, very spontaneously, I would have reshuffled the cards in my head to make new decisions and plan new paths for the future. I would have put everything in black and white and started building a map to take action immediately.
When I started noticing that this wasn’t happening, the frustration started. A strange sense of impatience, as if something was missing.
Pressing pause to find some deep rest
What was actually happening?
After a long, long time I was truly resting, in a simple but profound way, and my mind had disconnected (also thanks to the break from social media, and in general, from all kinds of digital content).
My mind (and also my body) didn’t have to run after anything, it didn’t generate anything, neither particular ideas nor important projects. Instead, it abandoned itself to the here and now.
As a woman, I think I often and willingly represent the role of someone who goes out of her way to want to prove something, so as not to pass for lazy (because let’s admit it, today it seems that taking time for oneself is equivalent to being unmotivated or lazy). I play the role of those who work incessantly to achieve important goals. All this at the expense of sleep, time to take care of my body and to think about myself beyond work commitments.
Because of being completely immersed in ‘the culture of doing all the time’ I felt like something was wrong, and that I could not allow myself to enjoy the rest.
My thought was:
Three weeks without producing or organizing something is too long. You can’t afford to do that. You can continue to enjoy your holidays even focusing a little about what you will do on your return!
Pity my mind wasn’t on the same page!
And happy to have found the reason of my frustration, so that I could enjoy my holidays to the fullest.
An important reminder
Here is a reminder to myself and also to those of you who need to hear it as much as I do:
The mind and body have a strong need for deep rest, for completely pressing pause, doing nothing, for not always being active, creating, planning, attending to something.
We must also let ourselves get real rest. If you don’t have the ability to let it all go, at least reducing the commitments and chores is of crucial importance.
Even moments of boredom must be crossed without fear, as those are the moments when often you find the space to understand yourself better.
You may already know this. But do you ever allow yourself to do it, while acknowledging its importance?
And above all, can you value yourself no matter what you have done in your day? Or do you set conditions and you are too attached to a goal to reach to live the day in peace with yourself?
The bottom line here is:
If we constantly put conditions on our day without which we cannot be happy, then everything becomes more difficult. Like when we decide that the day is good only when we eat in a certain way or work without breaks for hours and hours forgetting about our body and the importance to press pause.
As I write this, I imagine myself going around in my life with a backpack, day after day carrying it on my shoulders.
So, I did this short exercise in which I imagined relieving that backpack of some things that are not good for me, to make room for others that I know can help me find a greater balance between mind and body.
Here is the result of the exercise I did for myself, without thinking too much but simply jotting down everything as it came to my mind.
What would you like to add/remove from your life backpack?
Are you ready to give up some expectations and commitments, to throw some of them out of the backpack that you continually carry on your shoulders?
Are you ready to love yourself regardless of the goals achieved and the expectations met, stopping going around your life exhausted and unhappy?
If we can stay focused on the fact that we want to value ourselves no matter what we do, we achieve, we produce, life can flow more serenely and with less internal tension. Not only that, relationships with the people we care about most will also benefit from it.
That’s when this condition of greater well-being becomes fertile ground for growth, change, the generation of new ideas and new projects, professional project but not only, also and above all of life projects.