Resting and Self-Love
It has been a while since I have posted on this blog.
Seven months to be exact.
The last post I made was on boundaries, so I had to hold myself accountable to that.
Truth is that after summer, my life has been full of activity. My new job has pushed and pulled me to grow as a clinician, I started teaching Graduate level courses again, I am commuting every day and Sundays are my only days off. Not to mention my attempts to maintain a balance by trying to keep in touch with friends, meeting my spiritual needs, being in a relationship and keeping in touch with my family.
Resting has become essential to my survival.
For many years, I felt that if I rested or stayed home, I was “doing nothing” or, as others have put it, wasting my youthful life. Throughout my life, I heard different messages about rest from others that I internalized. Growing up, if I was not actively doing something, I was being a huevona. Even now, as I write this post, I am comparing myself with how hard my mother has worked all of her life.
Other messages that are constantly heard are, “ you are too young to always be tired”, “ I will sleep when I am dead”, and the worst one of all, “ why are you so tired? you do not have anything to be tired about.”
It does not help that we live in such a capitalistic society where “hard work” is admired and rewarded. Not to mention the daily micro-aggressions that we have to deal with and all of the systemic and structural issues we have had to face all of our lives.
For me, there are feelings of guilt, shame and selfishness that are associated with resting. This is definitely something that I have been working through. I often feel as if I should be doing something when I have free time. Often times, that internalized voice judges me for resting and not having anything planned.
Recently, I realized that I was constantly keeping myself busy in an attempt to avoid confronting something I needed to deal with. The more I work with a therapist, the more I can work through this dilemma. Our negative coping skills and negative internalized messages are not the only factors that play a role in our tiredness. We deal with so many people, emotions, attitudes and energies everyday and this can take a toll on us. Depending on our jobs, families, friendships, and responsibilities, we may have to deal with much more than we anticipate. After so many interactions throughout my day, I am often left feeling drained.
This can be exhausting.
If we are not actively resting and meeting our basic needs, it is only a matter of time before we begin to fall apart. As the saying says, “we cannot pour from an empty cup.”
I am constantly practicing self-care but I do not know if I was resting as much as I needed to. The busier my schedule got, the more my body required from me. I had to take some time from writing this blog to honor my body. I had to place my needs first and show myself some love. My body needed me to rest.
Resting looks different for everyone.
Resting can be sleeping in, staying home, taking a bath ( or long shower) , talking a short, mindful walk, reading a book, drinking tea, watching tv, and so much more. Resting can also be taking a break from situations that drain us, choosing to stay in, or doing something that you enjoy, that will not exert too much energy. I cannot tell you how to rest; however, I can say that it is essential as we face our daily lives and challenges.
Listen to your body, only you know what it needs.
My hope is that this post serves as validation for you. Upon reading this, I hope that you give yourself permission to rest and be still. I hope that this inspires you to truly listen to your body and its needs.
And, as you rest, I hope that your body, mind and spirit can recharge and re-energize.