I took a few days off work. Got a massage. Naps, tea-drinking and an overall low-key vibe prevailed. Overworked, overstimulated, over-everything demanded that I take a good rest.
But after all that supposed recovery time, there I was, sitting at my desk on Monday morning, feeling like a freight train had just run me over. Twice.
My problem? I was resting the wrong way.
*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER* I am not a doctor. There could be any number of health reasons for your extreme exhaustion. If you need a naturopath/medical professional/healer person, go see them. Stay well.
Assuming you’re not severely anemic or harboring some rare parasitic creature in your tummy, here’s why you might be stuck on the Tired Train:
You have to RECEIVE rest.
If you get a massage but while all the rubbing is happening, you’re sweating the deadlines waiting for you at work, you might not be receiving all the rest.
If you bookend your afternoon nap with a guilt trip that says “Naps are for babies and the elderly, Grannypants”, you might not be receiving all the rest.
Deep rest — the truly regenerative kind — has to be intentionally entered into and fully received.
Penciling in activities that look like rest on the surface, but don’t involve a sincere surrender to the experience is not going to cut it. You’re just going through the motions. It looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, but that, my friend, is no duck.
Rest is anything that restores you; energizes you. Rest fills your tank UP. For some people, that looks like an afternoon lounging on your couch or hot tub soaking at the spa. But rest could also be a reggaeton dance class or trading sex tips with your bestie.
Rest is what restores you, and while unconscious restoration is still restoration, the most potent and powerful form of rest is the kind that we choose intentionally; the kind that we are consciously engaged with. It is this simple:
INTEND to rest.
Acknowledge and affirm the restfulness. It could be a grand ritual or a simple statement, like so: This nap, this Magic Mike viewing party, these snuggles with my pup, this painting I’m looking at… This is me resting. *deep sigh*
Rest-like actions that are accompanied by an internal landscape of guilt-ridden or distracted thoughts will barely move the needle of your Restometer.
A veil of depletion will remain if you do all the right restful things without energetically welcoming the release, the space, the being-held-ness of it.
Choose your right rest activities and then hold the intention for that experience to be pure soul nourishment.
For more on rest, check out the AnnikaTV episode I did with Meredyth Hunt. I love the way she defines it.