Something my clients tell me over and over again is that they want to make more space for rest in their creative work and life.
They’re fed up of feeling overwhelmed, burned out, exhausted, and like they’re working way more than they’re living each week.
When we look at their schedule together we see that there is always space for rest - or a long-term solution for how to pivot their business model to be less overwhelming along the way - and the main issue is that they struggle to actually give themselves permission to rest and switch off each week and month out of fear that it means they are lazy, that they’ll fall behind, and that they’re not hustling as hard as they should be.
I’m a big advocate for guilt-free rest. I think resting and living my life is just as important as working and hustling it out in my business. For me, making time for rest and to switch off from my business is part of doing the work it takes to build an impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable creative life, but I still have to remind myself from time to time that I have permission to do so. Because so much of the noise we’re surrounded by glorifies being busy and hustling ourselves into the ground and defining ourselves and our worth by our careers and our income, we have to be brave enough to redefine those things for ourselves and to give ourselves permission to embrace our need for rest and white space without allowing guilt and fear to hold us back along the way.
So today I want to share with you eight things I like to remind myself and my clients of whenever we need to remember that we have permission to take life at our own pace, to rest when we need to, and to live as much as we work along the way. If you’re struggling to give yourself permission to embrace guilt-free rest in your creative work and life, my hope is that these can be of some encouragement for you today.
1. My self-worth is not measured by how productive I am
We are more than the to-do's we tick off each day. We don't have to prove our worthiness to take up space in this world by using every waking second of every day productively. We don't have to compare how productive we are to how productive others are that day - we're all navigating our own ebbs and flows of energy, focus, and creativity. No matter what gets done each day, we are enough.
2. Rest can be whatever I want it to be
It can be binge-watching our favourite TV show, going for a walk, sweating it out in the gym, grabbing coffee with our best friend, taking a nap, baking our favourite cake, taking the dog for a walk, visiting a loved one - rest looks and feels different to each and every one of us at different times throughout our lives. We have permission to give ourselves exactly what kind of rest we want and need in the moment.
3. Rest is essential for a whole, happy, and healthy life
Rest holds space for us to slow down, reconnect to ourselves, and enjoy the life we're building. We cannot truly live a wholehearted, happy, and healthy life if we're constantly working ourselves into the ground - rest is also a big part of the puzzle. We're not here just to work, work, work - there's a whole lot of living for us to do too.
4. I do not have to justify myself when I want to rest
We don't have to "earn" our rest time. We don't have to justify ourselves to anyone else when we want to slow down and recharge. We are, of course, responsible to the commitments we make in our work and our life, but we don't owe anyone an explanation when it comes to how and why we want to rest.
5. Making time to rest helps me to be the very best version of myself in my work, my life, and my relationships
The more we refill our tank the more we are able to show up wholeheartedly to our business, our relationships, and our life. The more white space we have to slow down, recharge, and relax, the more space and energy we have to give to our work, the people we love, and our life along the way. Rest supports us to be the very best version of ourselves in our work and our life.
6. I am more than just the goals I reach, the money I make, and the ambitions I pursue
We are not defined by how much money we have in the bank, how many to-do's we hustle out each day, by how many goals we reach in our business, and how successful we may look to others. Our worth is not defined by our success. The relationships we build, the adventures we take, the lessons we learn, and the moments we spend just wholeheartedly living our life matter just as much, if not more.
7. It’s okay to be “lazy” sometimes
Lazy isn't a dirty word. We're allowed to kick back and relax sometimes. We're allowed to indulge in our favourite guilty pleasures and just enjoy ourselves without any strings attached. We can trust ourselves to lean into rest and also still have the ability to show up, work hard, and be responsible along the way.
8. Rest is sometimes where the magic happens
When we slow down and give ourselves space to recharge, think, and explore we are able to get to the heart of our work and our ideas much faster and with so much more clarity. Through rest is sometimes where our very best work happens - it can be the catalyst for game-changing a-ha moments and refuelling our energy so that we can hustle out a big and exciting project in our business.
So here's my encouragement to you: give yourself permission to rest. Do it without guilt and apology. Know that you are worthy of being more than just a hamster on a wheel, being productive just for the sake of being productive. Trust that rest is part of the puzzle of living an impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable creative life. Let yourself enjoy the life you're building for yourself. Let rest fuel your hustle and your creativity along the way.
As always, I'm rooting for you!
Every other Sunday I send thoughtful insights to my community through Weekly Letters. If you're not already on the list, you can sign up below to receive the next letter straight to your inbox.