It was after midnight. I had just spent the day intensely focused on completing all of my book edits to return to my editor, the culmination of weeks of labor. Typically, I would be sound asleep when the clock strikes 12. But instead, due to the huge rush of excitement created by finishing such a major task, I found myself completely reorganizing a storage closet.
The next day I was exhausted. But did I stop? Oh no. I instead inched myself forward by reading a book that I had wanted to get to—but hadn’t for a while, and then checked off another item on my list by responding to a lengthy e-mail before finally giving myself permission to go to sleep.
When you come out of a major busy season or complete a massive project, it’s more important than ever to relearn the art of rest. This requires choosing to not feel guilty about wanting time to truly relax and be creative. If you don’t make a conscious choice for rest, you will find yourself always filling your time by ticking off items instead of giving yourself space to be in the moment—thinking, doodling, reading, musing, or doing whatever fills you creatively.
If you don’t make a conscious choice for rest, you will find yourself always filling your time by ticking off items.
Not only can scheduled rest renew your joy in life, but also, make you more creative. According to the Scientific American article “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime:”
“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.” Continue reading