Allowing Rest

I tend to be a pusher. Always pushing myself. Always in motion. Resting is hard for me. Resting makes me uncomfortable. I try to rest and I have thoughts like…You shouldn’t be resting. You have so much to do. You didn’t do enough. You don’t deserve to rest. So, I rest, but it’s not good quality rest, due to my negative thinking about it. 

I get into this pattern where I push too much, and I know that I’m pushing too much. My body tells me I’m pushing too much. Gently at first, my body lets me know it’s time to rest. But I ignore it. Surely it’s being dramatic. I’m fine. I’m superwoman. I got this. My body gets louder. I realize I’m feeling burned out. But I don’t want to listen. Then, finally my body needs to scream. And I can’t ignore it anymore. I have no choice but to rest because I get something like a debilitating headache to the point of nausea. 

Sometimes I even try to ignore that and push anyway. I seem to have this extreme resistance to rest. Perhaps I view rest as giving up. Admitting that I’m not in fact superwoman, and I can’t do everything. I can’t be everything to everybody. If I need to rest, part of me feels like I’ve failed. 

So, when my body screams and I reluctantly surrender to the rest, as much as I fight it, it does feel good. And I realize just how tired I am. I feel into my body, and it’s so exhausted. I end up sleeping a lot. Sometimes my body needs to rest for a couple days. Once I let go of the initial resistance, usually by day two, I really enjoy the rest. I begin to feel relaxed and charged. I think to myself, this is nice, I really need to make it a point to do this more regularly. 

And then, the pattern repeats. For a while I am mindful of including more time to rest in my schedule. Then, my schedule starts filling up again. There are just so many cool things to do and people I want to spend time with. At the very least I’m being more mindful of what I do and with whom, so I feel energized instead of depleted. I’m still an introvert, though. As much as I’d like to be an extrovert, I’m just not. And I do need that time away from people to rest and recharge. 

I’m getting a little better at catching myself when I feel like I need the rest. I still sometimes get to empty before I allow the rest. Awareness is a good step, though. Yesterday I gave myself a rest day. I spent most of the day on the couch watching tv and cuddling with my stuffed animal. I also took a bath. 

Today I have a headache, but felt inspired to write this blog post. Sometimes it’s a balance, getting to know yourself, when it’s okay to push and when you just really need the rest. And know that you do deserve to rest.