When Rest Feels Lazy (hello, type A)
With everything you have to get done, does it feel pointless -or even hard- to relax sometimes? Would you even go so far as saying it feels.... lazy? Trust me, I can relate!
Sometimes my to-do list seems to grow faster than I can check things off and the one thing on my list that I would prefer to pass over is often allowing myself time to rest.
You read that right- I do add "Rest" to my to-do list, want to know why?
The truth is all in my personality, friends. A mix of my inherited traits and environment have led me to be what can be called "Type A". People who have this personality tend to be:
They also tend to feel:
Overly conscious of time-management
And, can you guess what competitive, goal-oriented, impatient people don't do enough of?
Interestingly, any guesses what these exact same people could use more of to not burnout?
So, what the heck do you do when what you need goes against what you feel driven to do?
First of all, I think it's important to note what rest actually means, because it isn't just sleeping or bingeing a new tv show. The official definition is to "cease work or engaging in stressful/strenuous activity in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength" (Oxford Language).
Rest can be walks, it can be reading, it can be sitting outside, listening to music, or baking.
Rest can be setting aside time for a hobby or creative outlets, or going for a scenic drive.
Rest is a form of self-care and it should feel good, but that can take some adjustment if it's been something you've avoided, disregarded, or determined to be pointless.
Here are a couple of tips that I've found helpful:
Add it into your calendar - even if that means setting aside 10 minutes, to start
Find ways to rest that fulfill you - maybe that's time with a pet or reading before bed
Be intentional- tune into how you feel before/after rest
Be aware- acknowledge if you feel pulled to avoid rest or talk negatively about it
What I can tell you after implementing these tips is that I've come to a place of really honoring and prioritizing rest in my life, because it's clear that it is good for me. Although I still feel pulled to skip past it, I've found ways to hold myself accountable and I hope you do, too.
Meredith Waller MSW, LCSW
Based in Boulder, CO and offering online counseling throughout Colorado
-Certified Shame-Informed Treatment Specialist
-Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional