Wellness Wisdom: How to Slow Down and Prioritize Self-CareNov 07, 2023
Hey there, friend,
Life has a funny way of throwing obstacles our way, and sometimes, the biggest hurdles are the ones we create ourselves. We're often guilty of pushing ourselves too hard, even when our bodies and minds are whispering, "Rest, please."
One such obstacle is the reluctance to slow down and care for ourselves when we're under the weather. We've all been there – coughing, sneezing, or just feeling "off," but we soldier on, dragging ourselves to work or other commitments. Why do we do this, even when it's clear that rest is the remedy? And to be clear, I'm writing this blog post because I have finally succumbed to a cold that's been going around for ages, and have finally decided that I am going to allow myself to rest, instead of doing what I normally do and "soldier on". I am certainly not perfect, and so I'm writing this partially for you, but to be honest, partially to remind myself the next time I'm not feeling at my peak!
The 'Always-On' Culture
In our modern society, there's an unspoken expectation that we should always be "on" – productive, efficient, and available. Taking a day off, or even just a few hours, can sometimes feel like a cardinal sin. We've created a culture where pushing through illness is seen as a badge of honour, a testament to our work ethic.
But here's the truth, my friend – working when you're unwell not only jeopardizes your health, but it can also have far-reaching consequences. You risk spreading germs to coworkers and the public, putting others' well-being at risk. But possibly most importantly, you show yourself a lack of respect and care for your own body and mind.
Rest: The Ultimate Act of Self-Care
It's time to reframe our thinking. Rest is not a sign of weakness; it's an act of self-care, a commitment to your well-being. When you're unwell or feeling less than optimal, slowing down and asserting boundaries is a courageous step toward taking care of yourself.
Consider this: rest is just as "productive" as work. It's often more productive. When you rest, you give your body the time it needs to heal and rejuvenate. You allow your immune system to fight off illness more effectively, so you can return to your tasks with renewed vigour.
The Benefits of Rest
Faster Recovery: When you rest, you allow your body to allocate energy and resources to the healing process. This means a quicker recovery, which is ultimately more efficient than dragging yourself through tasks in a diminished state.
Mental Clarity: Rest doesn't just benefit your body; it's a tonic for your mind. With proper rest, you return to work or daily activities with improved focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Well-Being: Prioritizing rest is an act of self-compassion. It sends a powerful message to yourself that your well-being matters, and that you deserve to be taken care of just as much as anyone else.
It's important to remember that we can't always take as much time off as we'd like. But what we can do is practice mindfulness in our self-care. When you're under the weather or feeling less than optimal, be present enough to recognize it.
Set boundaries for yourself. Inform your coworkers or superiors that you're not feeling well and may need to adjust your workload or schedule. Most employers and colleagues will appreciate your honesty and commitment to not spreading illness.
And, of course, prioritize self-care. Rest, hydrate, and nourish your body with healthy foods. Consider it your "job" to get well, just as you would tackle your tasks at work. It's an even more important job, for without your health, you can't effectively perform any other tasks.
My friend, it's time to embrace rest as an essential part of productivity and overall well-being. It's not a sign of weakness but a declaration of self-respect and self-care.
The next time you're under the weather, remember that you are worthy of rest. You deserve to heal, and in doing so, you honour not only yourself but also those around you. So slow down, assert boundaries, and care for yourself first. Rest is not just okay; it's necessary.
With a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself as I go to have a nap to recover,
P.S. Remember that our Zen Oasis Restorative workshop is this Friday, November 10, 2023, from 7:00-8:30 - sign up here to give yourself some lovely rest (and a bonus after the workshop, too! https://www.healthgirl.ca/zen-oasis
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