Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Is everything really going to fall apart if you take a break?
A common theme I often hear from my clients is the desire to create more time and space for themselves. This is usually paired with the belief that there is no way to fit that in. There is too much to do. And trust me I get it. I have identified with ‘being busy’ and ‘being productive’ my whole life.
I used to feel extremely resentful of people that were able to leave work without exhaustion, that could take a nap for ‘no reason’, that would have free time for play in their schedules. These were all signs of things I wasn’t giving to myself.
We live in a culture that ties our self-worth to our level of productivity. Making the choice to rest and play is counter-cultural so it is natural that it feels uncomfortable at first. It’s common to feel a sense of guilt for wanting to take time to yourself. So we convince ourselves we don’t need it. That everything will fall apart if we stop. That playing and rest are a waste of time.
These cultural beliefs (rooted in the system of white supremacy) are in direct conflict with our true nature. We have confused productivity with joy. We have bought into the belief that if we accomplish everything on our list and keep grinding THEN we will feel satisfied and happy. THEN we can rest. But the list never ends, does it?
So, try making a different list…
Think about the last time you felt really peaceful, playful, joyful, at ease…
What were you doing?
Dr. Stuart Brown states that the opposite of ‘play’ is not ‘work’ - the opposite of play is depression.
The next time you catch yourself thinking you are too busy to take any time for yourself… examine that thought. What story are you telling yourself? Whose voice is that? A cultural construct or your true nature?
How do you WANT to feel and what do you need to give yourself to cultivate that feeling?
Check that to-do list… pick one thing to drop.