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The Value of Rest and Relaxation

If you’re like me, you have troubles slowing down. It’s unhealthy. I’m writing this minutes before I board an airplane, so maybe I need to take my own advice.

Stop Working for the Sake of Work

Do you feel guilty when you’re not working? Cut it out. Seriously. Feeling the guilt of not being busy is a trap for creating unproductive busywork and reducing self-esteem. When we are compelled that we need to work more, we devalue our current work. We label ourselves and ineffective and undeserving.

Instead of always needing to feel the burn of hustle, set aside tangible goals that you can attain every day. Write a to-do list with different tasks, and the time needed to complete them. When you accomplish this list, be done! Go out and do something you enjoy.

Treat Yourself Every Day

Self-image and identity is massively important to growth. It’s important that we view ourselves not only as oriented beings, but as people worthy of reward. If you are an addicted workaholic, allow yourself to do one thing for yourself each day. Jam out in the car for an extra song. Buy yourself a large coffee instead of a small one. You know what gets you going. Make it a priority to let yourself know that you are important.

Allow Time for Reflection

There’s an idea in psychology called diffusive states. In restful times, times of idleness, the brain is able to process unconscious information more efficiently. Scheduling in time for familiar recreation, activities that you enjoy but can do without a lot of cognitive load, is extremely useful for intuitively solving complicated problems.

Similarly, we must learn to listen to ourselves better. Allowing time for mindfulness and concious reflection allows us to be more attuned to our minds and bodies. Self-awareness is often drowned out in a world of distraction. Most of us are afraid to have quiet time. We blast music or podcasts to occupy our time. We surf Facebook and Instagram rather than allowing ourselves to experience a dull moment. Allowing this time for reflection provides room insight and self-feedback. Try driving places with no music in the car. Instead, listen to your thoughts. Dissect your day, or work at an interesting challenge.

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