Do you know how to rest?
Burnout is the social Omicron variant of our time.
What’s worse, many of us have no idea how to rest and recharge. We’re too busy hustling for worthiness (h/t Brene Brown); we go for a massage and then spend the whole time on the table worrying about work; we veg out watching six episodes of Succession in a row and come away feeling worse than when we started.
We did not evolve to be able to tolerate our nervous system being in perpetual fight/flight for years at a time. And we live in a world where our sense of self-worth seems to be at stake every waking moment of the day.
Two recent pieces explore what it really means to rest. And lord knows you need the rest.
The first, The 7 Types Of Rest That Every Person Needs, offers a range of ways we might need to chill, from the physical to the mental to the spiritual. It’s a great menu for exploring just what you need to sustain yourself through the madness of now.
My personal go-to is what the author calls ‘creative rest:’
“Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us. Do you recall the first time you saw the Grand Canyon, the ocean or a waterfall? Allowing yourself to take in the beauty of the outdoors — even if it’s at a local park or in your backyard — provides you with creative rest.”
In the second piece, This Is How You Rest: In The Delicate Space Between Work And Play, writer Sophie Lucido Johnson begins with an eye-opening list of what rest is not. That includes sleeping, meditation and yoga, playing Wordle or binging Netflix, hanging out with people or re-organizing your spice drawer.
What’s left, you ask? She suggests real rest involves a slow pace, quiet, sensual stimulation, and a mind truly in neutral. If you’re scratching your head how to do that, she’s got plenty of specific suggestions.
In the end Johnson sums it up too perfectly not to quote her directly:
“The thing is, there will always be more on the to-do list. There will always be people who need you, things to accomplish, deadlines to meet. You will never find the time to get into a hammock for an entire day and truly collapse into the knowledge that you got it all done. The best time to rest is today. You do have time, you do have the tools, you do have the wherewithal.”