Please Stop Bullying Yourself For Resting

To achieve any dream or goal, you have to put in the work.

You want to ace that test? You study. You want to get into your dream university? You give them the best damn application you can. You want to get that dream job? You put in the hours, you make the best resume, and you go into that interview with your head held high. But you know what you don’t do?

In any of these scenarios, when you are working towards any life goal big or small, you do not burn yourself out. You do not drain yourself of all your energy, you do not exhaust yourself of any life, because you will feel nothing when you reach your goal. You won’t be able to dance or scream or cry tears of joy—you will just want to go to sleep. And would all the hours you put in be worth it? No. Because here’s the truth that everyone seems to overlook.

There are productive days and then there are rest days. You cannot hustle 24 hours straight for seven days a week. You need rest. And you need to stop bullying yourself for taking the rest. You need to stop treating rest as a sign of weakness and stop feeling guilty for taking the rest. And don’t you dare compare the amount of rest you need to another person in your life, because what you are going through is different to them and everyone’s rest looks different. The whole point of resting is to take care of yourself, so stop concerning yourself with how it may look to others or what others are doing and take the rest.

Because the rest days are even more important than the productive days. Because without the rest days, you wouldn’t have the productive days.

You would not get the promotion or the new internship without the rest. You wouldn’t ace your exams or qualify for graduate school without the rest. Stop romanticizing working yourself to death, because it isn’t cute or pretty, it’s wrong. It’s not romance, it’s horror. So it’s time. Take the damn rest.

Say a prayer, chant a mantra, spray some lavender mist, close your eyes, and take the rest.

Sometimes, You Have To Take A Break

Even though you might feel like you cannot afford to rest, even though there is a lot of pressure being put on you, even though you want to spend your time making productive leaps toward your dreams, you cannot keep moving until you collapse.

You are allowed to slow down. You are allowed to take a break every once in a while. You are allowed to breathe.

Letting yourself relax for the first time in a long time does not mean you are being lazy. It does not mean you are slacking and do not deserve to reach success. It means you are self-aware and self-loving.

It doesn’t matter how desperately you want to reach your dreams. Sometimes, the answer is not to force yourself to go-go-go. Sometimes, you have to rest today if you want to be on your A-game tomorrow.

Even though it feels like you have a million different things to get done and a million people you could disappoint, do not fight through your mental or physical exhaustion. Do not push yourself passed your limits. Do not fall off the ledge.

You need to take care of yourself first. Your sanity comes before your work.

If you go without a rest for too long, if you end up reaching a point where you snap because you cannot take such a jam-packed schedule anymore, then you are going to suffer a setback and you are going to have an even longer recovery period than you would if you gave yourself a break today.

Instead of waiting until the last possible second to give a shit about yourself, schedule me-time every week. Make sure you have at least a few hours, or even an entire day, to unwind from the stress you have been under.

You have accomplished so much more than you realize, so stop telling yourself you are not good enough. Stop acting like you have not earned a rest. You have. 

Turn off your email notifications. Put down your pencil. Close your textbooks. Give yourself permission to enjoy  the rest of the day. Not everything has to be done right this second. The world is not going to end if you ‘waste’ one day.

Except, that is the thing. You should not think of pampering yourself as a waste. You should not think of self-care as a waste. You should think of it as a necessity.

Yes, reaching success requires effort. Yes, you have to do a lot of work if you want to make something of yourself. No, you cannot become lazy — but taking a break every once in a while does not make you lazy. You are allowed to sleep extra. You are allowed to binge watch a series. You are allowed to have fun — or do absolutely nothing at all. You should not feel guilty about days like that.

You might care about your work more than anything, but your priorities need to shift if you want to live your dream life. You need to start caring about yourself more than everything else. The rest can take (a close) second.