I spent much of this month resting at every occasion I could get. A someone who would only sleep when tired and once held the belief that I’d rest when I was dead, a series of events forced me to turn off my computer, phone, and mind and head to my bedroom or the nearest couch.
We live in a culture where busyness and hustle are celebrated and rest and rejuvenation only considered when our body dares to fight back or it is sold in the form of trips to the spa or a wellness getaway. It seems like there is little effort to stop, slow down and simply allow our minds, bodies, and spirits the chance to recharge.
Rest has just become my new hustle. You see, my body is a temple and the housing of my dreams, plans, and aspirations. To harm the temple in the quest of achieving my dreams or plans is akin to shooting myself in the foot!
It’s time we shift the way you view our relationship with rest. As women, we are natural hustlers and experts in burning the candle at both ends. We give out of our lack, often to the detriment of ourselves, and we do it because we were taught that as women and nurturers, it is our place in the world to do so.
When I started making rest a priority, I disappointed a few because I could not say yes to their demands on my time and attention. It was a small price to pay. I have come to realize that the best decisions for me are likely to come at the expense of a relationship or expectation. But I choose me because I am no good to anyone when I cannot focus, my body is falling apart, I don’t feel good about myself, and my stress level is through the roof.
Initially, rest looked like hitting the mattress to get some shut eye. Over time, it became cutting back on social media and giving up my smartphone. I now contend that rest is not just for the body, it is also for the mind and the spirit. Now, someone manages my Facebook pages and I don’t touch my personal page anymore. Facebook, can be so emotionally draining and time-consuming. I picked a single platform to engage on and I’m limiting my time to 10 minutes a day. There is a school of thought that social media is not as effective to brand and business building as marketers claim. I have mixed views on this, but looking at my clients and partners, I have found that all the successful and productive ones were not on social media. When I asked them why, they felt that offline interactions like networking events and even referrals were better for them, and those who were on social media picked one platform and stuck with it.
I also adjusted my phone time. I got a basic phone that supports making and receiving calls only and now people don’t ping me on Messenger or WhatsApp when they are bored or simply because it is free. Instead, they pick up the phone and call when they really need to get in touch and they keep it short, meaningful and sweet. When we stop making ourselves so accessible to others, it will transform the relationship we have with them as well as ourselves. Don’t be surprised if there’s less reaching out but more meaningful conversations and connections with the people we truly matter to.
Perhaps it’s time you revisit your relationship with rest and hustle. You are deserving of rest and you don’t need to ask for the permission to take care of yourself. What does rest look like to you and what will you give up to attain it? Tell me in the comment section below.
What does rest look like to you and what will you give up to attain it? Tell me in the comment section below.
Light, love, and grace
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.