One of my Top 10 Inspirational Quotes from IIN Live that I shared yesterday had to do with allowing yourself to rest. I know this – I talk to my clients about how important sleep, relaxation, and rest is to their overall health. However, I’m really not so good at allowing myself to rest. Are you?(picture source)
I’m a Type-A person, and I have a ton of ideas for my health coaching business. I truly love every single moment of every single day in my new job, but this makes it even harder for me to allow myself to rest. I’ve heard Kevin tell a few friends that I’m working more hours now than I was while consulting, and while it most definitely doesn’t feel that way, I take his point. It’s not uncommon for him to go to bed and for me to stay up for several hours finishing up my own work. Now, don’t get me wrong – I usually run or work out in the middle of the day, I take time to coach Girls on the Run, I do several other things that I never would have been able to do in my old job (and it’s awesome!!!). It is not lost on me that my life is amazing, which makes it feel even sillier to admit to myself that I still need to rest. Yet … I’m still working from 6:30am to 11:30pm on weekdays, and I didn’t take a single day of rest between leaving my old job and starting my new one. This isn’t the healthiest approach, but I have a hard time telling myself “you’re doing enough, you can shut down now.” (picture source)
In reality, everyone needs a break … even those of us who thrive on being busy and love what we do! Lindsay wrote a great post on why we all need rest, and Mark’s Daily Apple did a great (but scary!) post on how stress impacts the body. And yes, you can be stressed even if you love every second – most of the time, us Type-A “crazies” put more stress on ourselves than the outside world does! Letting yourself rest and reset can often be the key to being more productive when you bounce back. (picture source … LOVE this one!)
And so … I’m giving myself the gift of rest. For a really long time, I’ve been wanting to challenge myself to take a vacation on my own. My introverted side is so excited to be able to relax, reflect, and honor my body by doing whatever I feel like for a few days. For some reason, it is far easier for me to relax in Colorado than anywhere else in the world, so I knew that’s where I wanted to go for my solo trip, and I’m finishing up my drive there today. I’ll spend Tuesday and Wednesday by myself in Keystone, exploring the beautiful outdoors … I plan to mostly stay away from blogging and social media, so please excuse my absence in advance! After that, I’ll be back to work and seeing clients remotely, but I’ll be doing it from Colorado for a few more days while at my parents’ ranch house. I’ll get to spend time with my parents and see all 5 of my nieces and nephew – a huge bonus! To say I am excited, grateful, and appreciative would be a huge understatement!(picture source)
Of course, my point is not just to share my own plans, but to convince you that, even if you’re a Type-A person like me, you need and deserve a break every once in a while. Even if you love every moment of your job, your life, and whatever challenges you’re currently dealing with, you still need to let yourself relax. If vacation isn’t an option for you, it could mean letting yourself stop work an hour early and read a book, letting yourself sit on the couch for a few hours with a movie, “getting away” by going for an hour walk, taking a bubble bath, or calling in “sick” to work and taking a mental health day. Whatever it means to you, I hope you give yourself the gift of a break. Your health, happiness, and sanity depend on it. Quite simply … you deserve it!
So tell me in the comments … Is it hard for you to allow yourself to relax? When is the last time you gave yourself a break?
LADY I AM TOTALLY TYPE A++++++++ However, I have taken away a few of the +s and you know what?!?! Life is EASIER! HA!!! I don’t flip out at EVERYTHING that doesn’t get done RIGHT AWAY anymore, and man, it’s a sigh of relief! I never thought I could ever calm down, BUT I HAVE SO MUCH over the years and I love it! Life is just too short!
Good for you, Gigi! I am working on letting things go like you say, and while I’m getting much better at it, I still have room to improve!
Such good advice! I hope you’re enjoying your R & R. Keystone is beautiful. Where is your parents’ ranch?
Thanks, Cassie! It was beautiful! My parents’ ranch is between Salida and Buena Vista … the most beautiful place on earth, in my opinion :).
Thanks Megan for sharing this! I’m a type-A personality and find I’m too frequently beating myself up when I take a break. I just ran a half on May 4th and decided I was going to take a break for two months before I begin training for a marathon in November. It’s been so hard these past couple weeks to really enjoy the time off. I have a small run tomorrow, but deep down I keep trying to convince myself to run longer. I won’t but that conversation will still happen. So I kind of understand what you’re going through. I hope your rest period goes well and that you have fun in Colorado!
Good for you for taking time off, Bre! I know how hard it is to “force” yourself into time off, but it’s good for you!
Oh boy! Relaxing is hard for me but I do veg out every single night by 7:30 once my little girl goes to bed and I am in bed by 9:15 most nights too! I know I’m quite the party animal 🙂 I love my ME time and try to make time to do it! I think I have a pretty good balance. Like you, I love my job and love what I get to do every day! It’s the best to get up in the morning and do all the things you love!
Wow, good for you for taking time to veg out every night, Laura! That’s awesome! I hope to model after your schedule one day 🙂
Sometimes it is really hard for me to take a break. I get wrapped up in work stuff and continue working home. Though every day I take time to go fit in my workout. That’s my priority! I would love to schedule more vacations as well! I love traveling and relaxing. I am going away next month for 3 weeks so I will really try to unplug!
Good for you for fitting in your workout, Patty! That’s awesome! And wow – 3 weeks straight of vacation?!? Enjoy!!! Relax!! 🙂
I totally can relate. I have a hard time taking time to just chill out. This was a nice reminder!
Glad it was a good reminder, Lauren!
So glad you are taking a break! Enjoy the trip – get away from the break from technology. I’m with you on this but making myself read in bed by 9:30/10ish has been the best thing for me. I’ve also been trying to do a no-email Saturday, which is easy when I have lots of fun activities planned.
I love that you turn off at 9:30ish, Lauren. I really aspire to do this! Maybe if I keep saying I’ll do it, I actually will :). And the no-email Sunday is a great idea as well!
I have such a hard time allowing myself to relax. However, when I’m on vacation I have no problem laying at the beach or pool all day doing nothing! I am actually taking a vacation this week too..I’m so excited to relax for a few days! Your trip sounds amazing and I hope you have a great time!
I hope you’re relaxing on your vacation, Lisa!
Thanks for this post … love you are taking a break. I know you are up early, and I have seen blog replies from you after midnight … NOT healthy!
I can sum up my situation in two notes:
– If I had a dollar for every time Lisa said ‘please sit down and relax, you’re stressing me out’ … well, we wouldn’t have concerns about paying for schools for the kids 🙂
– I number the days I get 8 hours of sleep in the ‘per month’ basis … which I suppose is better than ‘per year’ that I used to get … but it is still not even ‘per week’ …
For Lisa, the Garmin tracking sleep has taught her she is generally getting better than 8 hours of sleep – but her exhaustion has me telling her that isn’t enough. Rest isn’t a number, it is a state of being, a feeling, and so on.
If you are falling asleep in meetings, you are exhausted … if you can’t sit down to watch a movie or TV show, not because you aren’t interested but because you fall asleep .. you are exhausted.
I am actively trying … but it is a work in progress,
Thanks again for the important reminder – and good for you taking time, and PLEASE actually relax! 🙂
First, thanks for the support – I didn’t completely escape, but I definitely did relax, and it was great! I slept 10 hours both nights, which is a huge win! And got out for runs and walks both days, read a lot, did a ton of fun stuff. Wonderful trip!
Now … I am confused on your sleep tracking. When I read it, it first sounded like you were getting 8 hours of sleep per month, which I know is not what you’re saying … are you saying you count the number of days per month on which you get 8 hours of sleep? If so, I can tell you mine … 7. Weekends, minus one day where inevitably I have something. Let’s work on that!!
haha – yeah, talk about poorly worded! What I am saying is I am lucky to sleep 8 or more hours perhaps a couple of times per month … literally 1 or 2. In general I don’t get even 6 hours per night. And as I noted in my Friday post, I sleep so lightly that you can see the interruptions in my tracking! Ugh!
Yikes! I feel you on the 6 hours … I rarely get 6 during the week (bad habits from consulting when I couldn’t … although I want to improve and am doing so, slowly!). But, at least I sleep 8 on the weekends!! I don’t believe you can “catch up” for lost sleep, but it sure feels amazing!!! I hope you work on your sleep, too!
that is awesome! i would love to do that as well. Such a great time for renewal and restoration. I can’t wait to hear all about it! wish i was going haha
Thank you, Lindsay! It was SO great! Colorado is so beautiful, and Keystone did not disappoint. I hope you get to escape one day by yourself as well!
I know I could definitely let myself rest more. I tell people how important rest is, yet I rarely let myself rest. I do however always take at least one day in the week as a rest day from working out, which is always Sunday, and I love this. It definitely lets my body rejuvenate for the week, and I’m ready to get back to it Monday!
I hear ya, Becky. I have a hard time allowing myself to rest mentally as well. Do you use Sundays as a way to escape from work (while you’re resting from exercise)? That might be a great idea – to just consider it a full rest day! I haven’t ever done this myself, but it sounds like a good idea :).
Have a fabulous trip, love! The relaxation is SO well deserved!
Thanks, Davida! It was awesome!
There are times when I feel bad when I rest.. I feel fat and bloated and simply not enough. I know it’s a bad thing to have such a negative connotation to resting and I’m working on it. I realize that it’s what my body needs and wants every now and then.
Hey, Jen. I don’t know you, but I can tell you for sure that you ARE enough! I understand how it feels to feel “fat” on rest days, and I’ve been there, but it takes continuing to believe in yourself and think positively to get through it. And yes – your body does need rest every now and then!
Thank you, Megan! It does take a lot of introspection for me to realize that I definitely can rest and let my body do what it does best — balance things out naturally.
I excel at NOT resting. I did take a break between jobs this time though! Maybe I should have come back a day or two sooner to have some time at home to relax and get things in order… but it was SO worth it. Now I need to focus on giving myself a break now that I’m getting back in the swing.
Hahaha, I think I should market myself that way, too … “I excel at NOT resting.” Oops. I hope you do get an opportunity to give yourself a break, even though from what I’ve seen, you had an amazing time in Switzerland! Still need to catch up on those posts!
I know how this is! I feel like my life is “go go go” so much especially recently. Colorado sounds amazing I hope you have a WONDERFUL trip and can relax baby!
Thanks, Sara! It was great! So nice to be in the mountains – that alone really helps me relax!
I love this! I definitely struggle with relaxing, and when I do relax, I feel incredibly guilty. Isn’t that sad? I always tell myself that it would be better to enjoy that hour on the couch vs spending it thinking about all of the things I need to do. I’m working on it. Please let me know how the solo part of your trip to Colorado is. I have been thinking of taking a short solo trip myself, and I am trying to think of where to go!
I SO relate to you spending time THINKING about the things you need to do … so frustrating and unproductive, but sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself! The solo trip was AMAZING, and I actually wish I could have gone a bit longer because I think it takes almost 2 days for me to decompress, and then by the time I was starting to feel truly relaxed, I had to leave :). Happy to talk more about it if you’re considering a solo trip for yourself (which I hope you are!)
Well you know I am so happy you are taking this vacation and you also know that I am not very good at resting. Why do we love to be busy and go-go-go? Hmm because it’s fun and keeps life exciting? I’m not sure. But I know I can always use the reminder. I hope the drive went smoothly and I cannot wait to hear about your rest, relaxation and all around awesome vacation on Friday. xo
It was so great talking with you today, Amy! Thanks for all of your support :).
YES! Terribly hard to relax, even on my relaxing days i like to feel productive otherwise i feel like i wasted a whole day. I can’t remember the last time i had a full day of just relaxing. guess i need a vacay too!
I’m right there with you, Cori. I admit I didn’t totally disconnect during my vacation days and I still worked a little bit, but any day when I can work for 2-3 hours and relax for most of the day is a huge win in my book :).