Do You Need to Rest?

Are you okay with resting? I thought I was, until recently. I realized I feel a lot of shame around getting the amount of rest that my body tells me I need. I tried to base my need for rest on what other people are capable of, but like they taught us in kindergarten, everybody’s different.

When I really started paying attention, I realized my shoulders were hiked up by my ears all day. Something on my body always hurt. My brain felt fried at the end of the day. I was pushing myself to empty, running on fumes, and then my compulsive, destructive habits took over in an attempt to recover from the constant fatigue.

There is this prevailing mindset (in my family, at least) that if humans are not constantly pushing themselves to do something they don’t want to, they’ll sit on their butts and rot. I don’t think that’s true for the vast majority of people. We want to accomplish stuff, and we want to do stuff that’s good for us.

If you’re spending most of your time pushing yourself to do something you don’t like, you’re free time is going to look a lot like laziness. But maybe you’re not being lazy, maybe you’re just trying to recover from pushing yourself to do something that drains you.

The past couple of weeks I’ve actually been resting and taking care of myself. I eat when I’m hungry instead of skipping meals. I play a video game or lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling after a hard day of work, and I don’t feel guilty about it. I meditate/pray when I start to feel overwhelm creeping in. I feel stronger and more capable of facing the world.

Do you need to rest?