Time to Rest
Last night after getting my little guy down for the evening, I immediately put on my pjs and made the trek down our creaky, wooden staircase where I found my husband sitting down to his laptop. He was about to dive into a few more hours of his workday because a last minute deadline had come up. I looked at the dirty dishes from the dinner I had made sprawled across the kitchen, as I thought of all the things on my to do list, which in theory I had another few hours to accomplish before bed.
My feet and calves ached in that third trimester way from a full day of caregiving while 33 weeks pregnant. I’d worked through my son’s naptime and hadn’t had a moment to rest all day.
I’m torn, I told my husband, there are so many things I could finish right now but I just want to rest.
Is rest a waste of your time? He asked, in more of a rhetorical sense.
Heck no. In fact, I’d been considering writing this blog post on the importance of rest for a few weeks now. I am a firm believer in self-care as the key ingredient to successfully managing everything work and life throws our way.
And with that, I picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read, stretched out on the couch with a bowl of fresh fruit, and spent the next hour resting. All the to dos and piles of dishes disappeared for a while.
Today I’m rested and ready for action.
During the hustle of work and life remember, rest and leisure are not a waste of time. It’s what we need to be ready to carry on and to do so with more intent, purpose, and energy. The next time you feel like you need to rest, do so, and drop the guilt.
I know I’m not alone in that end of the day, post-bedtime routine feeling. If you find yourself staring at the pile of dishes or laundry and considering your to do list, stop for a minute and think. What value is there in setting all those things aside to simply rest? The work will be there tomorrow. As time management expert Laura Vanderkam writes in her book I know How She Does It, “Housework expands to fill the available space.” The same goes for our to do lists. The upkeep of life and our work commitments will take up whatever time we’re willing to give. On the other hand, we need to be more purposeful in choosing to rest.
Your Guilt-Free Call To Action:
Whether you have one hour or five minutes, there are many simple acts of relaxation you can work into your day. Take 5 minutes to brainstorm a few things you’d love to do for rest or leisure. Then consider how you want to use your time throughout your week to pursue some rest for yourself. The housework and to do list can wait.