I Will Teach You How to Rest- AHD#14
Rest is achievable but we need a few tools. This article will use the acronym: L.E.T. (Learn, Embrace, Transition) to define those tools and give you a clear plan to be rested.
Achieve, Heal and Discover Issue #14
A biweekly newsletter to help dreamers, builders and creators achieve (get things done), heal (fix what’s broken) and discover (learn something new).
I will teach you how to Rest.
Many people would describe rest as something you do when you sleep because that is the time we shut everything down. But does that actually qualify as rest? For me, at least, my days feel like chaos until I pass out at night only to face chaos the next day. It never allows me to truly feel rested.
If we were rested we would be able to disconnect from one thing and be fully present in the next. We would leave work and be home or spend time in a hobby or side hustle then seamlessly transition to chill time with no regrets. But unfortunately, everything seems to bleed together and it is exhausting.
Rest is achievable but we need a few tools. Let’s use the acronym: L.E.T. (Learn, Embrace, Transition) to define those tools
- Learn to rest in energy
- Embrace our finitude
- Transition sequence
Achieve (Get things Done)
I have a real problem with transitioning. After I close my emails, in the back of my mind, thoughts of emails sent and unsent haunt me.
Author Cal Newport calls this “attention residue” in his book, “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.” He goes on to say,
“People experiencing attention residue after switching tasks are likely to demonstrate poor performance on that next task and the more intense the residue, the worse the performance.”
What do we do about it?
We need to institute a transition sequence that gives us permission to move on to the next thing.
Here is a sequence to help you transition. Follow these steps at the end of an activity (meeting, email, work day, ect.).
- Completed and uncompleted items
- The next time you will have to do this activity
- Write thoughts in your task list
- Once finished say, "I have done all I can, that is enough for now."
Heal (Fix What’s Broken)
Embracing our Finitude — I have done all I can
Rest is not self-care.
Rest is only the first part of self-care. Without it, we will never give ourselves permission to be fully present in our self-care activities. Why? Because we are fractured. We split ourselves across multiple tasks, desires and responsibilities. The way to combat this is to embrace how limited you truly are.
"I have done all I can, that is enough for now." In this statement, we are embracing our finitude.
German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, coined the term finitude to explain that, “Our limited time isn’t just one among various things we have to cope with; rather, it’s the thing that defines us.”
I agree with this notion that our limited time highlights our significance. The things we give ourselves permission to do is our biggest display of control.
Here is the miracle rest provides, when we say “I have done enough”, we are also saying, “I am enough.”
Let your shoulders drop, breathe in, breathe out, let your body hum, you are now rested.
Discover (Learn Something New)
Learn to Rest in Energy
Try this: Rest when you have energy.
I like Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith's approach toward rest. It doesn’t have to be a shutdown of all things, it could be directing your attention and energy to other parts of yourself.
In Dr. Dalton-Smith's TED Talk, she shares 7 types of rest.
Next time you need to rest, consider grabbing a cup of tea with someone who matters (social) or dimming the lights, putting on some headphones, and immersing in music (sensory)
I’m grateful for you!
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