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So it’s Monday night as I’m writing this, and I have to be completely honest with you. I’m utterly exhausted. Part of this could be because I stayed up late last night watching The Walking Dead Season 9 premier (whoops). Another part of it could be that I worked a nine and a half hour day. And, as always, the fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis are making themselves known. However, even with all of that, I’m laying here on my bed blogging away. You might think, “Shannon, why don’t you turn off your computer and unwind?” After all, I do spent my days in front of a screen. But tonight, I actually felt inspired. I want to write. And I honestly haven’t felt that way much lately.
So what triggered my recent lack of inspiration? Honestly, I think I just got a little burnt out on pouring my heart out and not feeling fulfilled. No, I don’t mean my viewership or engagement (though I’d love those rates to be a bit higher haha). I’m talking about not feeling overly passionate about what I was putting out there. Yes, I was still finding my recipes delicious and I still meant everything I wrote. But that excitement and spark just wasn’t there. Blogging was starting to feel like a chore. Something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. And that’s not at all what a personal blog should feel like.
That’s why I haven’t written in a couple weeks. And that’s part of the reason why I’m taking a step back from recipes for a while. I just haven’t felt the inspiration that makes it worthwhile. That and between a more-than-full-time job, blogging for myself, and blogging for FibroAid (and trying to live my life and take care of myself) I just don’t have the time. So for right now, I’m going to focus on writing what flows, what sparks my excitement, what inspires me.
And today, it’s talking about rest. Taking a break, resting if you will, from writing was a great idea for me. It took a bit for me to realize just how burnt out I was, but once I did, I saw I wasn’t doing myself or my readers any justice. So, I took some time off and published a recipe I developed a while back and a guest post from Lucy at Succeed now. But now, on this sleepy Monday night, I’m finally feeling the inspiration again. I gave my brain, and myself, a break. And now I’m back to writing and actually excited about it!
I love a good play of words. And the above heading is just that. “Rest Rules” as in, “rest is awesome”, and “Rest Rules” as in, “rules I use to know when it’s time to rest.” Kinda lame, I know. But I can’t help it. I love wordplay.
So why is resting so great? I know so many people who can’t rest, who feel guilty for resting, or who honestly just hate it. I’m definitely not someone who can’t or won’t rest, but I do often feel guilty for resting. Which is ridiculous if you think about it. Why should we feel guilty for caring for ourselves? Why should we feel guilty for resting now when it will help us and everyone else in the long run? I think there’s this glorification of busy in our society that makes us feel this way. It’s this idea that if you’re not busy, you’re not valuable, and that’s just dumb. What good is a busy life if you’re miserable all the time? That’s why resting rules. Resting allows us to truly live our lives at our best, to be fully present, and to be as healthy as we can be. Speaking as someone whose energy is pretty darn limited (thanks, fibro), I can promise you that those are all incredibly valuable and important reasons to rest.
How do you know it’s time to rest? Well, for me, there’s a few ways:
How do you feel?
Are you tired? Cool, rest. Are you sick? Not as cool, but still, rest. Do you want to rest? Awesome, do it. Mindfulness is a powerful tool, and a great way to get in tune with your body and mind. You don’t have to spend hours meditating or do some crazy intense yoga class to be mindful and figure out your needs. Simply take a minute every now and then to check in with your body and mind and listen to what it’s asking of you. If you’re utterly exhausted or completely burnt out, chances are there are signs of that in your body and your life. Listen to those signs, take a step back, and let yourself rest. Then, you’ll come back stronger than ever!
I know this one is familiar to my fellow spoonies. When you know you have a big event coming up, or really just want to be at your best, it’s important to rest up before hand. This allows your body, and your brain, to be on their best behavior. You’ll enjoy yourself more, be more present, and be more productive if you’re well-rested. And while this is true every single day (get your sleep, people), it’s especially important for special events or responsibilities. It can make a world of difference to proactively rest. I promise.
What time is it?
In grad school, I started setting rest rules for myself. The main one was only studying/doing homework until a certain time of night (usually 9pm). I did this because I knew I’d be way more receptive to new information, and perform way better on exams, if I was well-rested. And, well, I have my Master’s now, so I’m going to say it worked! But really, this is still a rule I live by. I try to avoid blogging too late, being on social media too late, or anything else overly stimulating (although I’m almost constantly listening to podcasts). Basically, I’m on a bit of a schedule. Or really, more of a routine. I try to get to bed between 9:00-9:30 pm so that I’m asleep by 10:00-10:30 pm. This way, I know I’ll be relatively well-rested when I get up for work at 6:30 am, and will be a happier, more productive employee. It’s simple, and not overly strict, but it honestly helps me know I’m getting my ever-vital rest.
Now I’m going to go take some of my own advice, log off, and get some rest. Goodnight!