When is taking time to pause more productive than relentless action?
These last couple of weeks have been intense-- creatively, mentally, spiritually, physically, nationally, globally--really in every way.
And I’m tired. I feel spent, worn, and crispy.
I don’t like to complain because I am not doing actual hard work like digging ditches, managing a classroom of kids, or enduring grueling commutes. What’s more, I am actually being fed by my work. Still, there are moments when I feel empty, dull-minded, and sluggish.
I know that a moment of rest would bring fresh air and new perspectives to my work, but I have this compulsive, workaholic part of me that tells me that either I do not deserve a break, or maybe that the rest period would not feel as good as getting another thing crossed off my list. I think that there lies the crux. I need to switch my motivation for doing the work from crossing something off a list to feeling grateful to do something with thoughtful intention. Being able to be present to my work is absolutely dependent on having breaks from it.
Furthermore, I know that my work suffers from not taking a break. I know that I can get trapped in a tunnel vision world and that resting, getting out of the work, would mean gaining perspective. But I am so willful and stubborn I judge myself for wanting rest. I try to schedule it but there always seems to be another thing to do.
Right now I’m caught between wrapping up a couple big projects and birthing some new exciting ones that are begging for my attention. As a result it is very difficult to focus on what needs to be done today -- in this moment.
So, I am very much still learning how to make rest part of my routine. Any advice out there? I try to get to a movie now and then. I like to walk in the woods and pet my cats.
Do you feel it’s a challenge to build rest into your routine? Do have guilt associated with rest?
What’s your favorite way to recharge your creative energy?
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.