Most of our conversation this month will focus on the physical side of rest—on strategies for sleep and rejuvenation as well as giving ourselves permission to choose rest over productivity.
Before we dive into those conversations, though, I want to talk about mental rest.
There’s a reason why I encourage all course participants to start with the “Identifying Your Values” worksheet when you join the course: there are many, many good things in life, and if we try to pursue them all, we’ll quickly experience burnout. In every module, we discuss this idea of making decisions based on your values and priorities, knowing which things are important to you and focusing on just a few things at a time rather than all the things.
And here’s why: Trying to “do it all” inevitably leaves us feeling like failures with a never-ending to-do list and the burden of guilt and shame. Even when you’re physically resting, chances are you carry the mental pressure of this with you, and that does much more harm than good. It’s not apathetic or lazy to choose a few priorities to focus on at a time; studies show again and again that you’ll make more changes and changes that last longer when you prioritize and focus!
Instead of carrying the burden of all the things you’re not doing well, I’d encourage you to identify a few priorities and values (and revisit them often, as they’ll definitely change over time and in different seasons!). Claim them as your own and allow yourself to let go of anything else. Be confident in the decisions you’re making, and allow yourself time off to rest, knowing that even though you’re not doing it all, you are doing the things that you’ve identified as your priorities for now.
That also means avoiding comparisons. Someone may be further along than you in the journey or on a completely different path, and trying to compare your journey to theirs—and measure your worth based on that comparison—will only leave you more discouraged and exhausted.
Own your journey. Own your priorities. Own your life. That doesn’t mean make excuses for the things that aren’t going well…it’s a journey, after all. But it means giving yourself room to be you. To make mistakes and your own discoveries.
Rest in who you are.
ACTIVITIES & QUESTIONS
1. If you haven’t already, complete the “Identifying Your Values” worksheet.
2. Make a list of all of the good things that are not a priority right now that threaten your mental rest. Maybe you even want to tear it up into little pieces or burn it when your done as a symbol of letting go of them.