Love Yourself Enough to Rest: How the flu forced me to establish Rest Routines

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“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

—  Banksy

“I think this might be the most tired I’ve ever been in my whole life,” I said as my hair dresser was blow-drying my hair and I slowly began to nod off in the chair. It was finally Friday and all I could think about after a week where almost everyone in our house had been fighting the flu, I was getting stressfully behind at work, and my blog emails hadn’t been opened in over a week, was when can I sleep and for how long? Can I sleep until next Friday or next month? Is that a possibility?

Tired might not be the right word for it, I’m realizing this now, I think this feeling; this overwhelmingly heavy feeling I was experiencing everyday as I crawled into bed at 4:00pm for a nap before picking up the kids and starting the “second day” (for all the working moms out there you know what I mean … the dinner prep, bath, story time and bed time negotiations) was actually exhaustion. My body and my mind were done running, I was out of fuel, and I had no choice but to surrender.

 

When you have a lot of energy, or drink enough coffee in a day you sometimes begin to feel like you’re invincible, like to you can do and take on everything that life throws at you and just keep going. Well as sad as I am to say this out loud (is saying something online considered “out loud”?… I think it kind of is) but anyways… I am living proof that this is absolutely not possible. As much as I thought I could run on coffee, creative solutions, love and will power alone, the body has a funny way of telling us that we need to rest, to love ourselves enough to rest.

to love ourselves enough to rest

The flu hit me hard, like I can’t physically get out of bed, need to go to the hospital because there was a risk of dehydration kind of hard and the best part about it was that I realized while hooked up to the IV that I might need to take a sick day. I might need to actually rest.

I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way but I love scheduled relaxation; a weekend getaway, a slow Sunday or a Let’s Stay In kind of Friday, but when life forces you to slow down it’s a tough pill to swallow and I had a hard time letting myself rest and being ok with not being well enough to do anything productive. In fact, I was upset at times that I wasn’t making better use of my time while I was sick. I think the biggest problem with this is that I needed realize that rest is productive and  that running on empty or trying to push myself through exhaustion is not productive, healthy or sustainable. In fact it’s counterproductive.

I had a hard time letting myself rest and being ok with not being well enough to do anything productive.

So, instead of kicking myself for moving slowly, or being upset when I couldn’t even read emails from my bed because it was making me nauseous, I made rest routines. Then, slowly these routines became a part of my evening for the next week and I think they might stick around for a little longer even after I feel completely myself again.

My Love yourself Enough to Rest Routines

Unplugging Earlier

At the top of my list is unplugging, I know I am not a lone late night “scrolller”, in fact I know I’m not alone in this based on all the online activity I see happening after 10:00pm. I do have to say that unplugging earlier has worked wonders for me mentally. Even though it is so tough to resist the urge to check your feed one more time before bed, or just take a quick look at your email,  I feel like my mind is much more prepared for rest when I do resist the urge and wait until the next day.

A Warm Bath

IMG_4698It’s freezing outside lately and well, and a bath before bed isn’t just for the babies. A warm bath helps me warm up on these cold nights and calm down a lot before bed. Sometimes I bring a book or a magazine in with me, but to be perfectly honest, I really enjoy taking that time to completely clear my head and just do nothing at all.

Book before Bed

IMG_1321Somewhere in this Instagram age I began to feel like I had no time for pleasure reading, which is so sad because I teach literature for a living and absoluely love getting lost in a good book. Then I realized that time is there it’s just what you make of it. If I unplug before bath and bedtime there’s always sometime in there for some quality reading. I also notice that I sleep much better after a warm bath and some reading.

While it did take some sickness, exhaustion and stress for me to realize that I needed to rest, I am hoping that I can stick to some of these rest routines even after all this crazy cold business is over.

 

Wishing you lots of rest and relaxing this weekend!

 

xo

Vanessa

P.S.

What are some of your favourite rest routines? I’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

 


2 thoughts on “Love Yourself Enough to Rest: How the flu forced me to establish Rest Routines

  1. I was forced to rest after a knee surgery made me useless for a week, and it was the best thing for me! I had to learn to let go of some things around the house and with my kids. Everything got done and I realized that I actually do have time to take it easy some days!

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