· By Eva Machado
When life is getting overwhelming, we are often told to rest, rest, rest. Have the sniffles? Rest up. Have way too many things on the to do list? Take some time and rest, girl!
But how many times have you put on your PJ's, hopped on the couch, watched an entire series on Netflix and come back to the chaos of life refreshed AF?
Do you usually wake up from your 2 hour nap or sleeping in super late feeling chipper with your energy levels through the roof?
Sometimes that answer might be yes, but I'd bet that a lot of times leaning into our traditional thought process when it comes to "rest" isn't effective in making you less overwhelmed or physically stronger.
I'd like to propose a different thought:
What if we looked through the lens of restoring when it comes to being stressed, overwhelmed, anxious?
What if we looked inward and asked what makes us feel restored?
Little story time so you can see what I'm talking about. I took a camping trip a few years ago with my best friends and we all agreed it was amazing. Spending our days in the woods with no service catching up, hiking, pretending we were fire masters and looking at the stars. Sounds restorative, right?
Not quite. A few of us in the group are introverts, a few extroverts. The extroverts agreed going back to life after camping, they'd be on a high and ready to take on the world from all of the social interaction and connection. The introverts? They all agreed they were going to need at least a full day alone after the trip to restore because spending so much time on social interaction (even with their best friends!) was an energy drainer for them.
Kind of surprising, right? What was restorative for some was an energy drainer for others. This is why following a list of "self care" activities can kind of be a boatload of BS. Sorry, I said it!
When trying to identify what makes you feel restored, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Am I an introvert or an extrovert?
- How do I feel after I spend time with this person/doing this thing?
- When you complete "self care activities" are you doing them because you want to or because you are "supposed to"? (Anyone else actually kind of hate getting their nails done?!)
We believe that when you look through this lens, you'll learn what actually increases your energy. You'll be able to create a mental list of the things that leave you feeling better.
Do you need to quickly tidy up your apartment before you watch that episode of TV so that you can actually enjoy it instead of having that nagging thought about the dishes the entire time?
Do you need to call your mom after your stretch of three shifts or take your dogs for a long walk (or both!)?
Don't get us wrong - life ebbs and flows. Sometimes we eat ice cream in bed knowing our home is an absolute wreck. Life really can get so overwhelming that that is what is restoring for us. We just want to remind you that this is about listening to your physical body and mind to bring you back to a space where you're ready to take on your life. You know you best, so listen to her.
You've got this!