We always have to be doing something, and that something takes energy.
If you have a long-term condition, either physical or mental, your energy levels will fluctuate.
You know this because you are living with it….
Here’s the thing though, it can be easy to forget that.
Society Is Sending You The Wrong Messages
The messages that you are being bombard with through other people, social media and big corporations is if you ‘work hard enough’, things will get better.
Want more money – work harder.
Want a better body – go to the gym.
Got a dream – work for it.
The stories that we hold up as being the best all centre on the concept of ‘hard work’.
That if we only work hard enough, then anything is possible and your dreams will be in reach.
As Yuval Noah Harari argued in both Homo Dues and 21 Questions For The 21st Century – the death of religion has meant that more people are placing importance on their work.
So these days, if you are dissatisfied with your work, chances are that you are going to be dissatisfied with life in general.
But you just have to keep going right?
Keep working and things will get better.
Wellness and happiness come from balance.
And, balance is about a mix of work, rest and play.
The rest part of the mix might be what you are missing. Play is obviously important but the likely hood is Play will cost you energy.
So here’s the vicious cycle waiting to play out –
Follow this cycle and all that is going to happen is –
You stop spending your energy even when you hit 0. You’ll run into the negative and still keep going.
This is when the problems really begin…
The fatigue that comes from running into the red, puts you at greater risk of physical injury (thats why elite athletes prioritise rest), low mood and anxiety, and general unhappiness.
Remember, it is good for you to do nothing!
So try this new cycle:
What Does Good Rest Look Like
Good rest means sleep, and plenty of it – 6 to 7 hours of it.
Do you struggle to sleep deeply?
Then try this trick –
Take everything in your head –
And write it down –
You need to empty your head and make some space.
Want to know more about why sleep is so important – click here.
Rest is not just about sleep though. It is about sitting on the sofa, watching repeats of Friends, with a low heart rate and not thinking too much.
It is okay to do that.
There is no shame in it.
The problem here is peer pressure. The pressure that comes on Monday, when everyone discusses what they did at the weekend.
Someone went clubbing for 3 days straight.
Another person went on a 5 mile hike.
Someone else completed a 2000 piece jigsaw.
You, you binged Friends.
But if that is what you needed to do, then that is all good.
Fatigue, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and other long term conditions often develop right under our noses.
And the onset of these conditions are often accelerated by pushing your batteries into negative.
If you already suffer from one of these conditions and you’ve been binging Friends a lot and you feel guilty about that.
Because, you’re missing the moments. The moments where you make the effort.
Maybe it was a kind word….
Maybe it was a look that you gave a loved one.
Sometimes for you to repay someone else’s support, all it takes is a moment.
- Society is sending you the wrong messages – don’t listen and focus on you.
- Your work is whatever you spend your time doing.
- Find what kind of rest works best for you.