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Are You Closer To Burnout Than You Think?
Resting might not sound like something you should put into your diary as a non-negotiable but in the world that we live in, if you don't schedule it in, you likely won't find time for it.
We live in a culture that over-glorifies being busy and therefore we gain a lot of our self-worth from it. This means when we rest, we not only feel guilt but our self-esteem is impacted. We don’t realise so much of our feeling good enough is derived from our productivity until we challenge this by not being productive. It starts as early as childhood when we are told that something like watching TV is a waste of time. Just because you are not being productive, doesn’t mean it is a waste of time!
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When you do not allow yourself to rest, you leave yourself vulnerable to burn out. In fact, I think more people are living on the edge of burnout than they realise and there are people fully living in burnout who are convinced they are just lazy. They think they are tired all the time from ‘doing nothing’ and will continue to berate themselves that they aren’t doing enough, without realising they are so far past exhaustion that in order to recuperate a full-on lifestyle change is needed. It’s why a lot of people once they go on holiday, get ill because they have pushed themselves past the point of burnout. It’s a cliche but it is one for a reason: If you do not make time for wellness, you will have to make time for illness. The reason this happens is that you’ve not been listening to your body when it’s giving you warning signs. If you don’t listen when your body speaks, it will need to scream for you to listen.
One of the ways I created a permanent change in my life was by dividing my life into 100% work or 100% rest. No more multi-tasking and trying to do both. You know when you are having a weekend but then also still checking your emails? That isn’t resting. Either you fully go all out on one or the other! That also means when I’m working, not dilly-dallying on social media.
In order for you to rest, it’s actually less so about the activity you are doing and more so about what you are doing in your mind. If you are watching TV and thinking about your emails, you are not resting. Whatever activity makes your mind go quietest is best. This is why for some people, being active is actually quite restful. I think it’s also important we recognise that rest and play are both needed to be restored and they are different needs but equally as important.
Two great book recommendations on this topic is Burnout: The Secret To Unlocking The Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski and Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price. These are really beneficial in changing your mindset around rest and they emphasise the importance of putting rest as a higher priority.
In terms of how much rest is needed, I don’t think there is a certain amount that fulfils the quota. There are certain times in your life when you will need more rest and certain times when you need less. The only thing that can tell you what you need is your body so regular check-ins with yourself. Rather than big bulks of time like holidays, try to make it more regular and rather than a specific time frame, if you think you aren’t resting enough, simply set the goal of creating time for 10% more rest than you currently allow yourself.
You deserve a break! You deserve to rest! And you do not have to overwork yourself to the brink of exhaustion in order to be valuable and worthy.
How could you be prioritising rest more? Have you ever had burnout? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,