Rest. That's the solution. Simple right? Not in our culture. I have clients come to me all the time with hectic, crazy schedules and say they think there's something wrong because they are so tired. I tell them, no, you're just actually really tired! Rest! Do you ever feel exhausted around 2pm? Me too! Nearly everyone does. But what do you do about it? Babies nap mid day. And many traditional cultures do the same. We've all heard of the siesta - when I visited Spain it was an adjustment to realize I couldn't run errands or shop most places between 2-4pm because everything was closed. Cities just shut down while people go home or eat out the largest meal of the day mid day, then lay down and rest. Rest? Why that very word is downright un-American! We are a go go go culture and, as Brenee Brown put so well, we see exhaustion as a status symbol. "How are you?" "I'm crazy busy!" "I'm exhausted!" these make us feel important, busy, needed. If we are busy we must have interesting, successful lives! But we have lost that deeply needed ritual of resting. We don't give ourselves permission to rest, to play. For years I felt guilty, even like a failure, if I had time to lie down and rest. Now I am ALL about the early afternoon rest. When I did an internship at a hospital in Beijing at the end of my schooling in Traditional Chinese Medicine, doctors told me that many people, even CEOs, would close their office doors around 2pm, close their eyes and rest for 20 minutes. I don't know if this is still true as Western culture's need to be busy all the time may have invaded Chinese culture and hurt that wonderful ritual. But I know for myself, at 49 and as a single working mom, I am wiped out by early afternoon. So any time I can, I rest. And I OWN that rest. I love it. I feel zero guilt. I'm fortunate enough to work for myself so if I'm between clients I'll lie on my treatment table and rest. If I am home, I'll lie on the sofa. And it works. Just 20 minutes of rest and I feel totally rejuvenated and ready to face the second 9 hour shift of my job/s. Play can do the same thing. Ever notice that? Many forward thinking companies do. Facebook and Google apparently have nap rooms and game rooms and it is encouraged that employees take breaks and use both of these spaces. They do this because they know what the old traditions knew - rest and play makes us better people, better employees, more productive, and happier. So in a culture that sees busyness and exhaustion as a status symbol, let's start a silent, snoring revolution! Let's rest and let people know we are resting and feel great about it! Let's play and say to each other - I had time for a nice nap and a fun game of soccer with my son, or chatting with a friend, or scrapbooking or playing tennis on the xbox or whatever! Let's take back the day and fall asleep in the middle of it! Let's bring the ritual that all animals embrace (just think of cats as our master gurus in this field), and some cultures are still wise enough to embrace, and lets rest. Our long to do list will never be fully done. So just pause, rest, and enjoy it! Nap with pride!
zzzzz. For items to help you rest - eye cushions, lavender essential oil, and other beautiful objects you can visit the Shop page of this site! More items being added as I find the time to add them. I'll add a few more today...after my nap ;) with love, Heather