Dr. Anna, PT
Resting Without Guilt
Have you ever had one of those days where you just didn’t feel like doing anything? Man, I just had one of those mornings last weekend. I’m talking the kind of “doing nothing” morning where I sat on the couch for three hours (THREE HOURS!!) meditating, dozing, reading the news, daydreaming, dozing again…. To the point where I started having thoughts like, “geez, Anna. You’re being so LAZY! Get your butt up and do something!”.... And the like. The doing-nothing part felt amazing, and then the “Should” thoughts started to creep in (I should be doing something, I should get up, etc.) and it didn’t feel so good. I was feeling guilty for taking that time for myself. After all, there's always something to check off the To-Do list.
But then I thought, “What if I reframe this?” What if, instead of framing my lack of productive activity as negative and shameful, I instead shift my mindset to be more positive?
When I challenged myself to think of it in this new way, I saw my rest through a whole new lens. When I am “doing nothing”, I am actually nurturing myself. I am taking some much-needed ME time to restore myself. I am slowing down. I am enjoying the silence and beauty of my home. I am refilling my energy in preparation for my coming work week.
Doesn’t all of that sound kinder than the Should thoughts? Yes, it certainly does to me. As soon as I shifted my mindset to the more nurturing thoughts, the guilt melted away and I realized I was doing myself a much-needed, wholesome service for my mind, body, and soul.
Here are a few questions to help you reframe your mindset the next time you’re Should voices are getting too loud as you want to indulge in rest:
What do my body and mind need right now?
How does rest serve me?
How can slowing down now help me be more productive later?
What feels nurturing and kind to myself right now?
What feels most needed in this moment?
The next time you find yourself with the desire to “do nothing” and rest, can you do it without guilt? And more so, can you figure out what it is you ARE providing yourself by the audacious act of being still and indulging in "nothingness"? Because I guarantee the “nothing”, as we are so quick to label, actually is serving a purpose. What is it for you?