How can one be productive while resting? Is that even possible?
Our minds might automatically think of multitasking, like putting in a load of laundry while taking a nap or going to the gym on our day off. Multitasking has become a standard of success in many cultures worldwide but has made a name for itself through social media in the US. We are told that entrepreneurship, multitasking, and maximum productivity are essential to have a successful and maybe even envious career.
Nevertheless, how do I create boundaries that allow me to work obsessively hard at work and suddenly know how to turn it off when I am home? Bringing stress home seems to be the dilemma for many students in America. Learning to differentiate from our academic status and measurable success haunts students beyond the classrooms. Anxiety and fear of failing to follows us into our places of rest. It is no surprise that there is so much guilt and shame around being a student. We are not only performing when we are producing, but we are performing when we desperately need a moment to do nothing because we feel like there is no time to lose.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the means to drop everything and live a life free of labor and service to society to survive. So how can one learn to rest in a way that makes work feel better?
A rhythm of rest is required for a soul to be aware of its health or unhealth. If we never stop, we may rob our bodies of letting us know that we have reached our limits. The fear of feeling limited might even be why many of us avoid that in the first place. The symptoms of burnout are easy to hide in a culture that glamorizes it.
However, there are ways to recognize the symptoms and steps we can take to incorporate proper rest that gives back a sense of identity that reminds us we are not human doings – we are human beings. The first and most important is to be honest with where I am.
For years, I have and still do at times glorify burnout because I know the affirmation that comes from putting on the front that I can multitask. The lie is that I am not at all capable of multitasking. This means that I am not capable of worrying and resting simultaneously. How can I genuinely rest even though there are things that worry me? I need to be okay with letting go of outcomes out of my control. The most that I can do about a test is study to the best of my ability and let my body rest afterward.
We do not take the time to honor our bodies for making an effort a tangible experience. We forget that our precious bodies are more than a moving part; they are a housing part that holds the soul that needs nourishing.
Anxiety, stress, worry, headaches, lack of sleep, the list goes on. These are all indicators that your body tries to let you know that your “resting” might not be rest. Our brains have a way of fogging up and working extremely slow or fast when tired. Take 5 minutes a day, just 5, to check-in and see how our body is feeling. The first step in creating a rhythm of rest is figuring out how often you need it. You will never know until you stop.
Furthermore, how can one be proactive while resting? Well, resting itself is proactive. It is exercising physical wisdom. Self-care is not selfish, and soul care is necessary. I have always encouraged people to find friends that motivate them, discourage procrastination, and challenge them.
Nevertheless, it is essential to have friends who help us to slow down. Not because they discourage our success and grind, but because they value you outside of your gifts and talents. A problem for us overachievers is that we can’t help but think about our to-so lists 24/7.
Unfortunately, it takes a loss for many of us to realize that quality time is essential to our social health. It might help to recognize that when our minds are not fully present with our loved ones in moments like these, we are losing the opportunities to be loved for simply being ourselves. I want to leave with you that success must not measure you. You can let it, and when you do, you will miss the time when your love was unconditional- even for your own self. No one will respect your peace if you don’t.
Written by Yuli Kizler from @grad.stoodent.
Feature image by Verne Ho on Unsplash.