Reading the signs

Are you giving yourself the time and rest you need? Learn how and why resting is the best thing you can do for yourself and your creativity.
Reading the signs
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Do you ever have those moments in life when you see the same message popping up everywhere? First, your mom tells you that you need to take a break. Then your doctor sees your stress hormone levels and recommends finding a way to lower them. You have your first counseling session and your counselor recommends scheduling time for life-giving activities during the week.

And then you hit play on the latest episode of the Hectic Podcast and hear how important rest is.

When this all happens within the same week, you have to pay attention to the message. Mostly because you’ve spent far too long ignoring all of the other signs that you need a breather. (Also, if it’s not clear by now, you is definitely me. It’s been quite the week, I tell ya.)

Like Darryl, the signs that I need rest are often emotional. Pet peeves become reasons for murder and I go from introvert to hermit on the people-time scale. I also struggle to stay focused when I’m tired, so I procrastinate more and take longer to complete tasks. Needing more time at work usually means less time sleeping, so I get trapped in a frustrating cycle of exhaustion and poor time management.

Though this year has been great for business, I haven’t made rest a priority. I have literally been saying, “After this week/project,” since February and have yet to make time to de-stress and detox from everything I’ve been doing.

Thankfully, I have a great support system that doesn’t accept these unhealthy decisions. I’m finally taking a week-long vacation to take a break from that never-ending to-do list that haunts every entrepreneur. But I’m not stopping there. <tweet-link>Rest is essential and possible in daily life.<tweet-link> You don’t have to leave the country to take a break. You can schedule rest for healthier living every day.

I’ve included some ways to do this below, but it’s important to remember that rest looks different for everyone. It will even change with your life circumstances. As long as you’re pursuing life-giving things, you can give yourself what you need to live more wholly and happily.

Sleep

When it comes to mental and physical health, sleep should always be the first option for rest. Some days, sleep might mean turning off your alarm clock or going to bed earlier. Other times, it might mean taking a nap during the day. <tweet-link>You are your boss. You run your schedule. Grab that power and use it to take care of your tired mind.<tweet-link> Even on the slim chance that something happens during your break, it can wait a few more minutes before you have to deal with it.

Enjoy mindless entertainment

Your brain works hard. Give it the chance to relax by watching an episode of your favorite show or reading a new book. Stop thinking about your to-do list or planning ahead for that project. Giving your mind a chance to power down for a few minutes isn’t a waste of time, but a recharge for the rest of your day.

Take a light week

When Darryl needed rest, he didn’t cancel all of his appointments or reschedule his tasks. Instead, he cleared his schedule as much as he was able to and deliberately made room for other things. As business owners, we can’t just leave our work to someone else, particularly on short notice. What we can do is find and make space in our schedules for me-time.

Indulge in your hobby

Rest doesn’t have to be a remedy. You can also make it a normal part of your weekly schedule. As I’ve mentioned before, for example, I love baking. It helps me relax, offers a fun challenge, and lets me switch my main tools from my brain to my hands. This week, my counselor recommended setting aside a few hours every week to indulge in some baking. Whatever your hobby is, make time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Make yourself the priority

In the podcast, Darryl and Michelle talked about viewing yourself, rather than time, as a scarce resource. Doing so can take many forms. It can mean saying no to a lucrative project because it will cause too much stress. It can mean paying for a tool or hiring an assistant to make your life easier. Rest doesn’t always have to be active. As long as you are in a better place physically and mentally because of it, it is enough.

Hear more from Darryl and Michelle about the importance of rest and how to know when you need it here.

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Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay is a freelance copywriter who thrives working with a great team and moonlights as an amateur home baker. Throughout her career, she’s had the pleasure of working with clients of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Aunt to eight nieces and nephews, she loves freelancing for the time it allows her to spend with her family and friends. When she’s not puzzling over the perfect word, she enjoys taking long walks, geeking out over her many interests, and trying new decorating techniques for cakes and cookies.
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