On Monday I woke up with a swollen eye, a banging headache and felt a bit like someone had spent the night repeatedly running me over for fun. It was great.
This is not normally the sort of thing that would keep me from work. I live with a condition that causes chronic pain and fatigue and joint dislocations, so I’m used to feeling ropey. Feeling ropey is kind of the norm. But on Monday I just couldn’t. I needed to rest. I needed to sleep more, I needed to hold a hot flannel over my eye and I just needed to drink tea and not move. I basically needed to let my body and my brain catch up with life. It’s not just the chronically ill out there who need to rest sometimes though.
We’re a generation of busy people. We rush everywhere. We do everything. We get up early, stay out late, have a crippling fear of missing out and we run ourselves into the ground trying to have a full life. It’s bloody exhausting. Yet, a lot of people I know (not all, admittedly, I do know some bed fanatics) feel ashamed of resting. They feel like they’re being boring, or letting people down, or wasting time if they just take a day out to regroup. I’m one of those people. I feel like I need to do something productive every day, on top of going to work, doing washing, cooking, going to the gym, doing freelance stuff, cleaning the shower, seeing my friends. I always want to fit in more.
We need to just stop. There’s nothing wrong with having a day where you genuinely feel like rubbish to spend the day making yourself feel better. I think for the most part, if you’re feeling in need of one of those days, you probably earned it and then some.
It’s not an easy habit to break but if you can appreciate the fact you need to give yourself time to be a human and catch up on EVERYTHING around you, you’ll benefit more than you could imagine.