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, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.