The Power of Sustaining Rest
Sometimes it feels like all I do every day is spin my wheels, living from checklist to checklist. I start my day, I run through my morning routine, which, let’s be completely honest, is a checklist of sorts. I get to work, and I check off my emails as “read” or “unread” or “I’ll look at this later.” Then, I revisit the checklist of things I made for myself to accomplish at work the night before. I go home, and I go through my home life/evening checklist. I go to sleep, wake up the next day, and do it all again.
Checklists can be useful. They keep me on task, they ensure that I don’t forget anything in my busy life. I am involved in a lot of things and a few different causes because I enjoy being an active member of my community, I enjoy occupying my free time with fulfilling activities. It’s part of the crazy, driven, type-a personality I have. My lists make sure that nothing comes falling down on my head or slips through the cracks on a daily basis. They are a useful organizational tool.
But living from lists all the time, and constantly spinning our wheels in a series of to-dos, isn’t always sustainable. We will burn out. I have burned out many a time, pushing myself too far, working too hard, and forgetting that magic of balance.
Balance is a difficult thing for me, because I am so type-a that it feels like when I rest, I am slacking off. Over time, I have found a way to deal with these emotions. I have learned that if I am burnt- out, I am not good to anyone, and I have to start over. This is not a “sustainable” way of living, or a “sustainable” method of being an activist, having a career, doing whatever it is that you are driving and pushing yourself to do. (See what I did? Sustainable.) How hypocritical am I if I preach about sustainability, but cannot incorporate a sustainable pace into my own lifestyle?
I find that when I am intentional about my rest, and when my rest ties strongly into my greater purpose, it is more fulfilling, and I don’t worry so much about taking a break. Often that rest is yoga, sometimes it is enriching my mind or my body of knowledge with a good read, or taking time to journal. All of these things play into my skill set, but also bring me great joy and relaxation.
Today, I just got back from a two-day mini vacation into the city with my boyfriend. We have travelled together before for a wedding, but never truly to just be together, and take a few days off from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. I have never been so glad that I took a break before in my life.
The trip allowed me to fully immerse myself in all the reasons that I love him, and all of the reasons that our relationship is so strong and joyful. All it took was two days of intentionality, and I am feeling refreshed, full of joy, fortified for some time to come, and able to deal with the pressures of daily life.
How do you sustain yourself through rest? I would love to hear, and I’m sure the rest of my readers would as well! Leave a comment or a message! Take some time to sustain yourself this holiday weekend.