We often talk about being kind to ourselves and resting. But do we actually do this? I know I usually nod in acknowledgement but wave it off. There is always something that needs to be done. Any down time I have typically ends up being interrupted by thoughts of all the things I could be doing.
Yesterday morning, my alarm rudely roused me at 5.30am, which made me very grumpy. I was hoping to hit the gym for a good stretch that morning. But I was exhausted. Instead, I did something crazy.
I decided that I going to let myself sleep in that morning and skip gym. After all, I didn’t have any scheduled meetings or appointments, which is a rarity. At the moment university students are on a break, which meant that parking shouldn’t be an issue when I got to work.
I set the alarm for an hour and snuggled back into my warm bed.
When the alarm went off again, I was ready to face the world. I woke up feeling refreshed and less sluggish than I was an hour ago. Perhaps I didn’t make it to the gym – so what. Nothing has changed. In fact an important part of exercise is allowing muscles to rest and recover.
More importantly, allowing myself this tiny break had a huge impact on my mental health and mood. There’s something surprisingly empowering and just awesome about being able to give yourself permission for a break and take it. Now I understand when people say that taking a break increases productivity. And I’m bloody proud that I managed to treat myself without feeling guilty or beating myself for it.