I’m confused. I took a “personal day” today. Actually, I’m giving myself a day off, because being mostly self-employed it becomes a choice. Of course there is plenty I “should” be doing, which is causing me to feel a number of things: guilt, pressure, anxiety, discontentment, and heaviness, everything EXCEPT for restfulness. It has somehow been programmed into my brain that if I’m not doing something all the time then I must not be successful, or I’m somehow failing at life. It’s uncomfortable to take a day to rest. What is that about?
Just sit and be present. Am I the only one who has a really hard time with that?? Time is valuable, but isn't it a good use of time to take at least one day or even half a day to realign ourselves and tune into whats going on inside our heads? Maybe I don’t want to check in on that. I don’t want to have to focus on where my thoughts are. When we’re forced to be alone with ourselves it can be like being stuck in an elevator with someone that makes you uncomfortable. It’s awkward. If you’re still reading this, congratulations, you must be feeling the same way. Otherwise, you probably would have clicked off the page a few lines back while hardcore judging me. In all seriousness, though, I’ve caught myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram images and posts while watching Netflix today, and I don’t think, I know that something is wrong with that unfiltered picture. It actually bothers me to sit and watch a movie without also having my phone or computer in my hand. The only time it ever feels okay not to have something distracting my brain is when I’m completely burnt out and there’s no more energy left.
Drama queen. I know… but assuming you may be feeling the same way, what can we do to remedy this millennial issue?
I think we might have a misguided view of what rest looks like. For a lot of people, including me, it means being stuck to the couch or the bed with a computer glued to my lap and a phone in my hand. Just typing that sentence gave me anxiety. There is nothing restful about overstimulating our brains. Rest should be life giving not anxiety inducing! Another thing I’m noticing about myself is that I am addicted to that stuff and have straight up withdrawals when my “devices” aren’t at arms length. Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I’ve never gotten done with a good half hour worth of highlight reel scrolling or a Netflix binge and said “Wow. I feel so alive and recharged!”. Actually, it’s usually the complete opposite response.
Rest, good ole Merriam Webster defines it as: “a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities” (duh you know that); “peace of mind or spirit; free of anxieties”… Pause. Physically, I got this, but the “peace of mind or spirit” and “free from anxieties” part not so much. Perhaps, before we can even experience restfulness we need to make sure we know ourselves, specifically our hearts, and I’m really starting to think maybe the reason I can’t stand to take a day to rest without getting freaked out is most likely just that, a heart issue.
Heart checks, as I like to call them, are great for discerning, (such a churchy word). For me it means asking myself “what is/was my motivation behind doing this?” If it’s selfish, not life-giving, or not in someone’s best interest then maybe there’s something in my heart that needs to be checked on.