Do you feel you can’t afford to rest, because otherwise all the many balls that you are juggling will drop? Often I tell myself that I know better by now, but truth be told I still catch myself doing too much until it’s too late and I crash.
So this week, I would like to invite you to rest. Not because you feel exhausted (although you may be) but because it is so important that we rest before our body tells us we have to.
I did my back this week. I’m not exactly sure how but all of a sudden it hurt like hell and I had trouble moving. Possibly to do with me sleeping next to my toddlers bed on the floor because I thought it doesn’t matter, I can take it. See what I’m saying? I was perfectly content sleeping on the floor (we do have very soft carpet, but still… how dumb!) after a pretty stressful week, or weeks (months maybe?). So my body decided it had enough and came up with this enormous back pain that had me wincing at every move. Not just that, I also crashed in a more ‘holistic’ sense, that I only recognize from a severe overactive thyroid problem that I had years ago. I felt drained, extremely tired, had no appetite and felt very emotional.
Let’s not forget: if you’re ill you should go see a doctor! This article is simply about two steps you can take at home to make resting easier.
Two steps to resting at inconvenient times
That sucks, right! I had lots to do!
It’s easy to feel like you are needed to keep things afloat, because you are holding everything together. You are looking after absolutely everything concerning the house, the family, the meals at home, the lunches to go, the washing, the planning, the logistics. The mental load is real and if you are anything like me you burden the most of it.
Learning to let go of that in times of need is glorious!
Step 1: Surrender
The back pain and exhaustion hit and I decided to surrender. It doesn’t often happen that I can’t keep going, but over the years I have learned to accept it when that’s the case. (The next step will be to avoid letting it come to that, but we’re all on a journey, aren’t we. Definitely something I need to work on.)
I told my husband I needed to rest and can’t do anything. And I stuck to it. No sneaky tidying up, no sneaky washing, no food prep, no nothing. I needed to rest.
The most amazing thing is that the world doesn’t end if you stop what you’re doing. It might go on a little less orderly, a bit more messy and a little less organized, but it does actually go on. Things that had kept me up at night somehow found solutions that I wasn’t involved in.
My husband took over getting Finn ready for daycare, packing bags with nappies, food and change of clothes and miraculously my child survived.
There were missing water bottles, no fresh jumpers, a growing mountain of washing, a growing mountain of mess in the kitchen, too many toasties for dinner, too much screen time for the little one and definitely one tired husband. But there weren’t any disasters that required my immediate action either. And to be honest all of the above happens occasionally with me involved as well!
Letting go of expectations, both of yourself and of how you think things should be, takes a massive load off.
It’s not as easy as snipping a finger, I know that. On day two I cried of frustration because I figured two days of proper resting should be enough, but my body had other ideas. And I kept listening. If you get frustrated, that’s ok too. Let it happen.
Step 2: Nourish yourself
Eating well is most important when you’re sick but also, of course, the hardest thing to make happen at that time. I wasn’t even hungry! Listening to my body helped me to figure out what it needs, it just needed to be manageable also.
Instead of coffee I craved a green smoothie in the morning. Recipe here.
(There are many smoothie makers around these days. I have a Vitamix and can’t recommend it enough. It was an investment years ago that I am grateful for every day.)
For an afternoon pick me up I made myself a turmeric latte.
Recipe for the paste here. If you keep it handy in the fridge, it’s simply the case of dropping a teaspoon full in some milk of your choice.
To nourish my body I indulged in taking restful hot baths.
Recipe for simple soothing bath salts here.
And once I felt like some actual food I made myself a simple sandwich with:
All of this made resting a more nourishing experience for me.
How to prevent crashing in the first place
I vow to schedule in resting time for myself each week from now on and I invite you to do the same!
You deserve it! Let’s have more of it, without our bodies pulling the emergency brake. You can’t function running on an empty tank, not in the long run anyway.
All of this may look completely different for you, depending on what your body needs, what you crave, what makes you feel good.
Based on the ideas above, you could keep a few things on hand that will help you to cope when the sh*t hits the fan. Doesn’t have to be homemade either, if you feel that’s not happening for you at the moment. You could buy pre-mixed turmeric latte spice and a luxurious bath oil for example.
Surrender and nourish yourself often.
You deserve rest any day of the week, even if you think you can still keep going.
Be kind to yourself.