Is your heart afraid to relax? A recent horoscope telling me that inspired this episode. There are some things we need to clear up about rest.
Myth #1: Rest is comfortable.
When we think about having a break, we think that rest is going to feel really good - like it's just a big sigh for our body and mind. That doesn't end up being reality when you have a high achieving perfectionist brain, because our natural state is to be busy. Previous experiences have taught you that busy is good.
Myth #2: Rest is a reward.
Rest is not a reward. It is a necessity. We need rest. And we need to stop treating it like this amazing thing that we need to work hard for in order to earn. Rest should not be something that you get when you finish your to-do list, rest needs to be on your to-do list and it needs to be a priority.
In this episode, I talk more about both of those myths and then I share what you can start doing today to resist the "busy" mindset and start getting more comfortable with enjoying and prioritizing rest.
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Music: “Play Thing” by Ketsa
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Hey life booster. This is Dr. Amelia health coach and veterinarian here to help you ditch yoyo, dieting people, pleasing and perfectionism by breaking the norm and living a life that energizes you from within. Today, we are going to talk about being busy. That need to just like when your schedule is completely full all the time and you just always are wanting a break and never really getting it. And we're going to talk about two myths about rest that could be getting in the way. So this was inspired by a horoscope actually. So I was chatting with my sister I don't typically read horoscopes though I think that they are really interesting and fun. And so she inspired me to look at my horoscope on the co-star app. And that day it said your heart is afraid to relax. And that hit home. I am at a point in my life right now where I honestly am really feeling that. And so that made me really reflect even more. I already had been. And I have a feeling that it may resonate with you too. So right now I'm experiencing something in my life that I truly am not sure that I've ever felt before. And it's this feeling of enoughness and just being fully content with where I am right now and incredibly grateful. I feel like my entire life I have been hustling is kind of the best word of just like constantly being busy and working and trying to do all the things in order to get to where I wanted to be. And I am now at a point where, as a veterinarian, I have this balance and schedule and freedom and flexibility that I truly never thought was possible. I'm extremely content. And I love what I am doing as a veterinarian. And I've created life boost my health coaching business, which I'm really proud of and which is enough just as it is right now. The programs that I've created are able to create the transformation that I have had of feeling completely stuck and unhappy and drained and helping to just see life in a whole new energizing way that is very loving and respectful of your body. And that feels really exciting and where you feel in control. And it really has been a culmination of a lifetime of all of my experiences. I never would've been able to create life boost if I hadn't had that like high achieving people, pleasing perfectionist brain that led me straight to burnout. When I quote unquote"achieved my dreams" and the process that I went through in order to recover from burnout and to also understand why my body felt so drained and brain foggy and had all these GI signs when I was being told that I was really healthy. And having to on my own make sense of both the mindset that was getting in the way and understanding the science of how my body worked, seeing where our current health care systems lack and putting the pieces together and understanding the way that our bodies work so that we can feel our best. Because it truly I've realized, like it's not possible to truly feel your best in your body. If you only addressed the kind of psychology and mindset component, or if you only address the science of how your body works, everything is so connected. You have to put all of the pieces together and you also have to embrace love and respect and kindness towards yourself. And I am being able to put all of those pieces together and the programs that I have with life boost and I am so proud of the transformations that I'm able to provide for others so that they can experience the same transformation that I have. And so that they can reach a point in their life where they also are just so grateful for where they are in the moment. Now, of course, there are so many more things that I'd love to do. There are more things that I want to create for life boost. There are many more things that I want to do in the veterinary community and as a veterinarian, but I'm at a point in my life where I am just so grateful for everything that I have right now, I don't need to do more. And that is a really foreign concep that is a little bit uncomfortable. Honestly, it's something that I am really having to explore and, and diving deeper. Now, this feeling of enoughness may sound super foreign to you, but it may not be as far off as you may think. Right now, there are a million things that I could be doing. I could easily fill my to-do list right away with things that need to be done around the house just general chores, things that I wanna do for life boost, things for the vet world and my brain likes to remind me of that constantly. And I have a feeling you can relate to this, right? Like you're probably busy just all the time. And ultimately we tend to be busy because we just wanna have a break and rest. Right? The reason that we're busy is because we want to get everything done and eventually we want to either achieve our goal or we're just. You know, working hard in order to reach and earn that vacation. Now with busyness, you know, when we are trying to just like check all the things off of the to-do list, we're just trying to get it all done, the carrot at the end of the stick, is that sense of being done, right? Like a completed to do list or working hard through the weeks that you can get to the weekend or finally getting that vacation or that break you've been working for. But one thing that I see happening so much, like I was recently talking to my friends who had had vacations or breaks, and everybody was talking about how you're just not good at actually taking the break. Like it just doesn't feel like you thought it would, right. The problem is that we. We tend to be so busy all the time that there are not enough breaks. And so when we do finally have a break, we want it to be perfect because in our minds we have made it out to be this like completely blissful, amazing experience this time when like finally everything will be relaxed. We can totally pamper, we can do all these things that we've been telling ourselves that we'll do and just have fun. And then when it comes down to it and you actually have that break, it really doesn't feel like you thought it would. You maybe don't do the things that you thought. You don't feel as well rested. And at the end of it, you're kind of disappointed in yourself. You're frustrated. And you're just like, I don't, I don't feel like I got the rest that I wanted and now I'm back to my crazy busy life again. And that sucks. And there are really two big myths about rest that I think are contributing to this cycle of just a busy society. We're all just like hustling, grinding. And when we finally reach that elusive break, It just isn't quite as restful and restorative and blissful as we thought it would be. And then we're disappointed and then we're back to our grind and that is a cycle that will lead you to burnout and just drain your energy. So let's get to the bottom of it. The first myth is that rest is comfortable. So in our minds, we, when we think about having a break, whether that's a free weekend or a little bit of free time in your day or vacation, or a huge chunk of time off, we think that rest is going to feel really good. Like it's just a big sigh for our body and mind. That doesn't end up being reality when you have that high achieving perfectionist brain, because our natural state is to be busy, busy is safe and it's comfortable. We may think that we want rest, because what drives us is to finally have everything done and so that we can treat ourself to a break, but in reality, we're not used to rest. And there are experiences throughout life that have taught you this, that being busy is good. And I'm gonna give you some personal examples. So growing up, I am very fortunate to have amazing parents and everything that they have done for me was because they thought it was in my best interest. But I was taught that it's good to be always doing something. So doing something like watching TV was seen as a waste of time. And so if I was just kind of hanging out, I was told to either like go outside and play or do an activity or there was something in the house, you know, some chores, that type of thing that needed to get done. And so that created this feeling that any time I was just like trying to watch a little bit more TV than I was supposed to. Or it was a beautiful day outside, but I wanted to just like watch TV or just hang out, there was definitely this feeling that I was gonna get caught and that I wasn't doing what I should be doing. Now as an adult, I honestly turned into my mom. I could totally see that in the way that I acted to some of Matt's behaviors, to be honest, Matt, my husband. So Matt, some weekends just wants to hang out on the couch and that was very triggering for me, to be honest, I would be like, oh, it's so nice out. Kind of just like wasting the day. Don't you wanna go do something?" I would be really frustrated that he wasn't taking the initiative to do like home projects. Like when there were so many things that we could be doing for, for everything. I just, I didn't understand why. And it took me a long time to realize that this was not an issue with him. This was an issue with me. And to recognize that it was so irritating to see him doing that because I was jealous that he was able to just relax without feeling guilty, because I couldn't do what he was doing and actually enjoy it. If I was just watching TV in the middle of the day, I would just, I, my brain would just be like, Nope, there are so many other things to do. You're wasting your day. All of those things would just like continue to repeat in my mind. It took me a long time to recognize that that was my own issue. it's a really vicious cycle because seeing him do that made me irritated. And then it was like, if I couldn't be just comfortable resting, why should he be too? Poor Matt. But I have done a lot of inner work and I am getting so much better. so that's just a reminder that anytime something is triggering you, in terms of what something someone else is doing, that's always a hint that you can maybe check in with yourself and see what the real issue is with why that's triggering. Other reasons too, that I've been taught that busy is good: As a student who wanted to be a vet, I wanted to be an A student. More was always better. Right? I wanted to be doing all the extracurriculars, wanted to be having my job, wanted to always be working so hard on the projects to get an A. We were taught a packed schedule and being able to show that I can manage my time that was the key to success and rest wasn't in that picture at all. And then even as a veterinarian during the day, it's very busy. There are lots of things that are all happening at the same time, and it's my responsibility to be keeping track of all of those. And so my brain is always, you know, making sure that I'm checking all the boxes that I'm keeping track of everything. And in that environment, that's important because if I forget something, then there's a chance that that could be life threatening. Right? And so certainly in the veterinary world, especially the last couple of years, any moment of calm isn't really something that we experience. So there are so many aspects of life and I'm sure it's true for you too, where you've been taught that busy is good and it's safe. You won't get in trouble when you're busy, you will be successful when you're busy. Rest is thought to be a luxury. And so what happens is that when we finally get this period of time where it's maybe like a free weekend or free time, our brain is like, no, what, what do you mean? There's not something to do? No, let us find something to do, because that is what that's, what feels good and safe. what we need to start recognizing when there is a free weekend or when there's going to be some free time, is that it's not going to feel comfortable. It's not going to feel natural. Right? Because that's not what we are doing the majority of the time. And we need to show our nervous system that it actually is safe and that it's okay. You're not gonna get into trouble, like things aren't just going to like unravel if you didn't fold all the laundry, or have your house spotless, or take on that next home project. Like, if you do spend a few hours in the middle of the day watching TV, it's going to be okay. And at the end of this, we'll talk a little bit on how to start doing that. Now the other myth, myth number two is that rest is a reward. Rest is not a reward. It is a necessity. We need rest. And we need to stop treating it like this amazing thing that we need to work hard for in order to earn. Rest should not be something that you get when you finish your to-do list, rest needs to be on your to-do list and it needs to be a priority. Because one of the issues with feeling disappointed or not using the time, the way that you thought you would is because you're not giving yourself enough rest. Like when in the day are you getting some time to recover and just time for what is really important for you to feel the way you want to that day? If you are not ever giving yourself rest, then you're going to put a ton of pressure on that, like one free day or free weekend to be absolutely perfect because you don't get it enough. You need to start giving yourself rest regularly because your nervous system and your body need that in order to recover and to have energy for your life. Now, I have definitely gotten so much better at making time for restful activities. Like within my typical daily routines, I've incorporated journaling and meditating, and I do yoga at least once a week. And I go for walks and all of those are very important for me. And they have just helped to bring so much balance into my body. And it has been a huge component of having a really resilient mindset and just being as content as I am in life right now. H owever, there's always another layer to peel back and there's always, more work to do because certainly this time as new transition or new point in my life, I am just noticing this need with my brain to just want to come up with another really big project or to fill my schedule instead of accepting that I don't need to be completely booked 24 7. So if you can relate to this feeling of just always being busy and then when you do get rest, like, it just doesn't feel the way that you want, these are the things that I would recommend doing to start getting more comfortable with rest. The number one thing I would recommend is to start paying attention to any time you're saying"I am busy. I am rushed" and calling yourself out on it. Because when you say I am busy, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you're in that state of thinking that you are always crazy busy, you will be. And that makes you feel out of control. Instead anytime you notice yourself saying I am busy, I am rushed, reword it and say,"okay. I am choosing to do my time blank because blank" This is going to help you to start being accountable and to help you start looking at the things that you're doing and needing to justify them. I want you to start asking why when you are busy. What are the things on your to-do list and why are you doing them? Why is that really important? And when you're thinking about the why I want you to think about what your top priorities are in life. How do you want to feel every day? One of your top priorities should be your energy. Because, regardless of what your goals are in life and what you wanna do, your energy is one of the most important things. It's everything. And is the thing on your to-do list supporting your energy or is it draining it? There will absolutely be things on your to-do list that can be draining. At the top of your list needs to be something that is replenishing your energy and helping you to recharge. So if a to-do list is comfortable, I can completely relate, but you need to start putting on your to-do list and blocking off time every single day to do something that is restful. In some way, it doesn't have to be that you're like out getting a massage or, you know, lounging on the couch, but it does need to be something that is giving you energy and helping you to feel the way that you want to feel that day. That's not something that you should have to be postpone. So when you look at your to-do list, like is folding laundry and cleaning the house really more important than moving your body in a way that helps you to release stress, that helps you to feel strong in your body, that helps you to have a mood boost and energy boost. Is it more important than finally starting that hobby that you keep saying would be really fun, but you just never have time for, because you're too busy. Like how is it benefiting you to have all of your laundry folded versus finally taking up that thing that, you know, will bring you joy in your life. You need to start calling out why you're busy and really questioning it and pay attention to if it's really serving you and helping you to experience your life in the way that you want. You can also start time tracking. So just for a day or two, pay attention to how you actually are spending your time, because you may be telling yourself that you're busy and you may feel really busy, but are you spending actually a lot of time on social media? Like, is there actually a lot of space in the day when you could be doing something that would feel better than what you are? And as you add more time for you or for rest or say you have a free weekend coming up, the next thing is to start allowing yourself to notice and accept that rest is feeling uncomfortable and to help your nervous system see that it's going to be okay. So what that would look like is if you have a free weekend, your brain is probably, if it's anything like mine, going to immediately want to create a to-do list or come up with things to fill the weekend with. Now, if those are fun, rejuvenating things-awesome. But if they're like projects and just things that you're coming up with that need to be done, instead of doing them just resist that and notice what emotions come up. Like where do you feel maybe some anxiety or tension? Like, why is that uncomfortable? And as you notice that your brain is coming up with things to do, just practice saying, we're not doing that. like you can acknowledge the things that you are thinking of doing, and then just practice doing something else instead. I'm definitely not trying to imply that like every free weekend you should just do absolutely nothing and just be laying on your couch, not at all. But I do encourage you to start showing yourself that sometimes doing that is totally okay. And really allowing yourself to notice any guilt that pops up and getting curious about where that came. Because the more you understand why it feels uncomfortable, the more you can start to reprogram and start to create new thought patterns and to realize that that's no longer serving you. Like if you are just hanging out on the couch, you're not going to get in trouble. That is okay. You're allowed to give yourself that permission slip to do that. And finally, I just wanna leave you with knowing that it's okay if you don't always do more. What's really important in life is that you feel like you're living your life. That you're not just getting dragged along for the ride or going through the motions. That's important every day. Every day, you deserve to do something that brings you joy regardless of your circumstances right now. So start looking for how you can plaY. one thing that I've noticed is this feeling of not necessarily having lots to do for my business, a big thing that's hard for me is that I love life boost. I love everything related to it, and I get a lot of joy working on it. And a lot of the things I like doing can then be directly related. So when I think about not working sometimes I'm like, but what would I do? so yesterday I was noticing this period where like I had told myself, you're just going to enjoy not having a lot to do, like, just kind of see what comes up. And then suddenly I had, I had just come up with like all these tiny tasks that were completely filling my schedule. And I started to just feel really irritated and frustrated with myself because I'm like, you are trying to embrace rest and you literally just can't even do it. And I was starting to get frustrated and I was, thinking of more and more things and like, oh, why can't I just get all this done? And I was just trying to call myself out, being like, this is exactly what you're trying to avoid. So instead of doing the things that I was coming up with, I just went for a walk and I just allowed myself to notice what was coming up to get curious about why I was actually really so frustrated. And that walk was really helpful. And as I was going for a walk, I passed the tennis courts that are in our neighborhood. And Matt and I have been saying that we should play tennis together ever since we moved here like five years ago and we have never used the tennis courts. So as I was walking by, I texted him and I was like, do you wanna, like, even if it's just for 15 minutes, Play some tennis later today? And he was like, yeah, that sounds really fun. And so we did. We both are workaholics to be honest. And that is not great because we both end up like often in the evenings, we'll both work because he'll say, oh yeah, I'm working late. And then I'll be like, oh, great. That means that I can work on some projects that I have. And we really need to make that effort- we know that about ourselves to prioritize time for fun and for connecting. And so we both just took a break and we played tennis. It was awesome. We had so much fun. We laughed, we are so bad. we have so much to learn and so much room for improvement. And we are so glad that we did that. And so those are the types of things, right. I encourage you to look for. What are the things that you keep saying you would love to do and you're just not making time for it? And how can make it happen today? How can you block off time today to do something that's going to bring you joy into your life right now? Okay. So starting now, I want you to go look at your to-do list, look at all the things you're doing and reprioritize them so that you are at the top of your to-do list. And if you found this episode helpful, please share it with somebody that you love so that you can help them start to feel more comfortable with rest. Ultimately, my goal is for you to embrace kindness towards yourself so that you have energy to spread kindness to others, cheers to your inevitable health, happiness, and success.