I think it’s fair to say I’m a pretty active young lady. I workout a lot, I walk a lot, I do a lot of yoga etc etc. And while I love being on the move and exercising, there’s times when, you know what? I really can’t be arsed. You know those days, when you’ve maybe planned to clean your flat one evening? Or planned on doing some stretching before bed? But the time comes around, and you think lol nah, not today. And then you get that weird feeling, don’t you? It’s like someone’s there in the corner, tutting, like “oh REALLY Bon? You gonna leave that laundry for tomorrow? REALLY? After deciding that you were gonna do it today? Did you plan on being a failure or has this just happened naturally??? You need to be more PRODUCTIVE.” And you feel GUILTY. WHY?! Because you didn’t do some (probably insignificant in the grand scheme of things) task which you set yourself some (probably insignificant in the grand scheme of things) deadline for, which you now don’t want to do because you don’t feel like it and you choose to look after yourself and say “yeah nah I’m just gonna chill”. And the initial instinct is: guilt. What is that about? Well, read on kids and I shall tell you why. (lol aaaaand smooth transition)
Society. Wonderful as it may be, I have a few problems with our society here in the UK. But the one that really gets me is the work ethic we’ve got going on. I’m telling you, we’ve gone mad. We’re made to spend around 25 – 30 years of our life in employment. We spend five out of our seven days of the week at our job. We spend 8-10 of our precious 24 hours a day working. And then there’s a potentially ridiculously long commute added on top. I know people who work from 08:30 until 18:00 at night with an HOUR AND A HALF COMMUTE EITHER SIDE OF THAT. *falls asleep collapses and dies at the thought*. But the REAL problem is not the volume of work, but that it never ends. Because we don’t leave work at work. Oh no. We take that shit home. We can’t switch off. We get back to the house and we feel like we always have to be doing SOMETHING because, God forbid, you come home after your crazy long day and go do something that you actually enjoy or love or that improves you as a person. No no, you better do your laundry and cook your dinner and plan out your pension and OMG do some meal prep because someone on Instagram said it makes life easier. NO.
There’s this HUGE pressure to be active and always doing something. I see quotes like “rest is for the weak” and #teamnosleep and oh make sure you’re planning your start-up whilst you raise your family, volunteer three times a week, re-decorate your house and don’t forget to plan your big holiday next year because “time-out” is really important.
You know what I say? I say everyone needs to caaaaaalm the shit down.
“Rest is for the weak”. No. Rest is what you earn when you’ve worked hard. Or even when you’ve not worked hard. You don’t have to be constantly doing something to prove your worth as a person. You can change the world from your laptop, sitting in bed in your pyjamas. People who throw it in your face that they’ve swam 10km and walked the dog and prepped their breakfast for the next week and it’s ONLY 9AM aren’t “ahead”. They aren’t “better” than you. They aren’t “more” or “less” successful. Maybe it’s 9am and you’re still happily snoozing away and you didn’t plan on getting up for another few hours. That’s OK. Some days we kick ass and some days we don’t. And somebody else’s successes or accomplishments do not diminish yours. They’re doing their thing, and you’re doing yours, and that’s totally cool. We all want to save the world, and you need to understand that it’s okay if you only save your own. It’s okay if you put it off for a few days sometimes, or if your “conquering the world” is just getting out of bed everyday. Your world is, after all, the most important one for you.
So, I’m not saying spend your life in bed, be a slob, don’t ever leave the house. What I’m saying is, treasure your time. Know when enough is enough. Take equal time for work, and for rest. In fact, take more time for rest. And by rest, I don’t mean just sleeping. Rest is going for a walk, it’s meeting your friends and having conversations, it’s finishing that book you’ve been meaning to finish for months. It’s switching off and doing things that aren’t on the to-do list. You know, the things you love that make you happy. Sometimes it is in these moments of rest, in these quiet times, where we discover and learn and find peace. We spend our days running around making sure we’re busy and active and being “productive”, when perhaps the most productive thing we could do is just breathe. Because I’ve found that it is in those moments where we stop and reflect, that we completely transform.
So my advice for you today is: relax, take time out, and don’t ever underestimate the power of resting. Just do your thing, and if the morning Instagram update of some Lululemon-clad yummy mummy’s daily itinerary starts making you feel guilty, you just remember:
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” -Alan Cohen
And tell them Bon says to chill out and rest.
Peace n love chickens,