Reframing “doing nothing” to allow for rest without the guilt

Hello fellow, lovely humans! (Is this greeting weird? Does it sound like something an alien would say to fit in? Rolling with it anyway..)

This week has the esteemed privilege of seeing both International Women’s Day and my birthday (and I’m a woman, so that means double the reasons to honor and celebrate myself)! My prior week ended on a tough note: waking up with a migraine, treating a nasty gash on my toddler’s forehead, and a trip to the emergency vet to pump my dog’s stomach of the multiple grapes he stole off my toddler’s snack plate. So when I sat down to start planning my priorities for the week, I was of a mind to be kind to myself. I needed a break and a reset.

I started by choosing my weekly mantras/inspiration/affirmation. This week, I settled on: I am strong, empowered, and capable of anything. It seemed pretty appropriate for Women’s Day week. I liked the way it made me feel to say and I liked the way it didn’t ask me to do anything, just be.

I am strong, empowered, and capable of anything.

Then I made it my mission to go easy on myself this week. I limited myself to 3 tasks only in my to-do list each day. On my birthday, one of those “tasks” was a freebie, “Celebrate my birthday” and the rest of the tasks were things I wanted to do that had nothing to do with being productive: Buy myself flowers (Can we get rid of the stigma that you need someone else to buy you flowers? I have a husband and I still bought myself birthday flowers as a treat to myself and they are beautiful) and Get my free birthday Starbucks drink.

But you know what? Some days this week, even though I limited myself to 3 tasks, I only got to 2. One of the days, I didn’t even take time to plan my tasks for the day and so I had nothing to check off (not that I didn’t do anything that day, I’m sure I did something). Usually, this is the type of thing I would beat myself up over. I’d tell myself I’m being lazy, I should’ve this and should’ve that (and I’d be lying if I said that voice hasn’t whispered something along those lines) but this week is my be-extra-kind-to-myself week. So I’m doing my best to practice letting go of the “should’ve”‘s and “could’ve”‘s, embracing my humanity and cutting myself some slack. Next week is another week.

…practicing letting go of the should’ves and could’ves

It really has me thinking about and questioning this go go go, no pain no gain, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, American mindset I’ve been raised to have.

What if, instead of looking at inaction as “doing nothing”, we refused to believe that it’s possible to do “nothing” and started acknowledging it for what it is? I’m resting. I’m recharging. I’m thinking. I’m dreaming. I’m regulating my emotions. I’m enjoying my company. I’m removing myself from the noise. I’m releasing tension. I’m resetting my day. I’m taking care of myself. I’m honoring my needs. I’m celebrating me!

I’m taking care of myself.

Rest is a basic human need to heal, to recover, to process, to renew, and to reset. We need to stop looking it as being lazy.

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