I struggle with the idea of rest. One reason I write about balance and rest so often is that I need to remind myself of it. If you know anything about me and my work ethic, you then know that I love Mondays. Mondays at the gym are like a Friday night at the bar. It’s packed with people, everyone determined to work off their weekend splurges and happy to be seeing the faces that comprise their Monday-Friday routine. When I am feeling great, Mondays are my favorite day of the week; I can lose twelve hours of my day without realizing it, too lost in interacting with members and friends. Mondays are fun and I hate missing them.
I am out sick today; struck by the malaise of sheer exhaustion. I have been burning the candle at both ends in both my personal and professional life, and my body finally shut down shop. For me it always starts with extreme emotional sensitivity, then my typical optimism turns into defeatism and then my body only wants one thing and one thing only: sleep. I woke up this morning after 13 and a half (!!!) hours of sleep, and my full purpose today is to rest and recover so that the various colds and flus that my body is currently fighting off will rest at bay.
As I cradle my cup of coffee I sort of don’t know what to do with myself. Relaxing and resting are difficult for me because they are not accomplishments that I can check off of a to-do list. My type-A brain is generating a laundry list of a million things that I could accomplish today, but my body is pulling out the artillery of resistance by taking away any active motivation I have.
The body does really talk to us, it’s just a matter of listening, and today I am listening. Push the body past what it is meant to do for too long on end and you will get sick. Your immune system will shut down, but more than that, your ability to see life from a perspective of hope and optimism will plummet drastically as exhaustion sets in.
Take care of yourself. Sleep more, and if your body is yelling at you like mine yelled at me today, stop and do something about it.