OK, hand on heart. Do you feel guilty for taking time out doing something you enjoy, even on a Sunday, thinking you should be getting something done? I remember one particular Sunday having mixed intentions about whether I would spend time accomplishing some work-related tasks or simply allow myself to do as I please. I decided to do as I pleased, that is, minute-by-minute choosing what to do next with little expectation on the outcome. At the end of the day, I noticed my self-talk: ‘I haven’t really achieved much today.’ Thankfully, I knew to challenge this belief and decided to go back through my day and look at how I’d spent it. I’m so glad I did because I clarified that I had:
I realised I had spent the day in perfect alignment with many of the things that I value highly – my health and wellbeing – and learning more deeply about these areas. If I’d gone down the work-related direction, while I may have ticked off a bunch of things on the to-do list, a lot of them would have fallen into excess busyness and not in the category of deeply honouring the balance I crave.
Do you see these traits in yourself? Are you carrying this constant push mentality? Do you allow yourself free time to potter and just be, in a way that does enhance your life? You don’t have to conquer that never-ending to-do list before you allow yourself to rest and restore. Listen to what you need and allow the ebb and flow with your internal nature. You get to practise being deeply in touch with when it feels good to step forward and do, and when it’s time to pull back, be frivolous, or creative, or simply do nothing at all.
Challenge the belief “it is not OK to do nothing” and where this has come from. Was it family, friends, schools, churches or some other situation? Our culture has set up a lot of unhealthy demands, which tell us that we need to do and achieve to be productive, and this gets filtered down into the messages we hear. It took me quite some time to recover from these misconceptions, and it was these very traits that were contributing factors in dealing with burnout.
How would you like to spend your days off? What is most nourishing for you? And if you are not following what feels right for you, I encourage you to deeply question the old beliefs that are telling you otherwise.