SIGH. Just when we thought we had finally reached a point when you could log into Instagram and feel safe from the crippling feelings of inadequacy because you aren’t fit enough or working out daily and “NEVER MISSING A MONDAY” and living that “NO EXCUSES” life, enter…restpo.
Yeah, I named it. The trend on social media shouting about the following:
“NO MORE GIRL BOSSING JUST RESTBOSSING”
“ARE YOU BURNT OUT? Here are 4 signs!”
“5 tips to help you meditate”
And what do you know, the same platform that made us feel like we had to grind until we burnt out is now finding ways to capitalize off of our overbooked schedules.
Where is the happy medium between enjoying an essential part of our daily lives and feeling crippling guilt that you aren’t resting the right way?
Look, YOU DON’T JUST “DESERVE” REST. It is essential. But, maybe if you are like me…a person with ADHD that has trouble relaxing (I have never enjoyed it), or you are just in a season that is incredibly busy, you need to accept that your rest might not fit neatly into an internet gurus idea of rest.
Sure, it would be lovely to spend the day laying on the beach, being one with nature, or napping all day, or mediating at 5am in the silence of the dewy dawn light, but not everyone has that privilege or ability.
So how am I avoiding the weird guilt associated with “restpo”?
Know that it is OKAY if your rest looks nothing like your friends. In an appointment with my wonderful therapist last month, she reminded me that it is OKAY if I like to fold laundry while watching a movie with my husband. That I don’t have to force myself to veg out if I don’t find it relaxing.
The internet is always going to one up you. Period. Chances are you won’t be headed to Tahiti on a soul searching trip and coming home refreshed with a new outlook on life. Yeah, that would rock but…reality. Just like the filters that change our noses and our skin texture, Instagram restpo is fooling all of us…the real you in your real life is wonderful.
If you are not in a season of life where luxurious methods of recharging your battery are an option, its OKAY. If someone else is capitalizing on your resting, well then it is just the same system that made you feel like you couldn’t ever rest in the first place.
If you’re reading this right now, you probably, like myself, need to rest more. You probably need to slow down, take a breath, and look around at the good in your life. Then lay on the couch, grab your favorite snack, and read a book or watch a movie.
And now that we have dissected the BS that leaves us feeling guilty, let’s talk about three ways to ensure that you ARE resting and recharging.
You feel your body and/or mind relax. If you are resting your body, you heart rate will slow and your breathing will become deeper and less forced. If you are resting your mind, maybe that means going for a run, doing a puzzle or reading a book. Anything that takes your thoughts from your day to day activities and stressors. This type of rest activates our parasympathetic nervous system, the opposite of our sympathetic nervous system…which is fight or flight.
You are taking some portion of your daily life to just be. Maybe that means finding the time to take a hot shower and sing your heart out. Maybe that means disappearing from your family to methodically scrub the tiles in your bathroom. Maybe it is painting or drawing or taking an online class (shout out to Insiders). Whatever it is, that one piece of your day is something that brings you joy, even if it doesn’t make sense to someone else.
You feel less like a human doing and more like a human being. If you don’t, try #1 and #2. And avoid restpo 😉
This month we are focusing on recharging our batteries. Whatever that means for you my ambitious friend, I support it.
Caitlin Thomas is the Founder of Beyond Boss, a professional photographer, and a mama of two. She is passionate about helping other women make more time for living and enjoying life, without sacrificing their dreams and ambitions.