Unless you were born into luxury, life has moments of grind. Your parents’ lives did, too, as did theirs, and theirs, so on and so forth. They may have done the grind to work the land, to feed their 12 kids, or to move up the ladder, but it isn’t a new story.
Granted, people died at much earlier ages because of living like this. No human body was designed for 50+ years of constant grind. Our grinds used to be seasonal, with brief respites in between. Industrialization and jobs changed a lot of this. Now, the only respites were weekends and the occasional week off. Anymore, days off can be a luxury.
If you don’t choose when to rest, your body will choose for you.
Grinding is championed in our era. This is for a couple of reasons – it can actually improve your life if done right, but it is also a great way to keep the masses productive by shaming people for not constantly working.
The other side of that sword is that working hard doesn’t guarantee success. It’s often pointed out that if working hard got you ahead, the world would be run by coal miners and not MBAs and lawyers who have never worked an actual entry-level (or service) job one day in their lives.
Working hard for too long will lead to problems on a couple of levels. First, it will result in fatigue. Fatigue results in a decrease of quality of output. So, your actual work will suffer in quality over time. Also, your body will deteriorate. Even if you power through being tired, the body can develop heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Any of these things can put you in the hospital for multiple days in exchange for refusing to take the occasional one off to rest.
Passing out does not equal rest.
There is more to rest than just sleeping. Even sleeping can make you more tired if not done properly, such as sleeping just long enough to start a REM cycle but not complete it.
Relaxing can come in many forms. It’s important to understand the options available and what is most realistic for your situation. Know that even getting some play time is an important factor in life.
Another reason to learn to rest well is so that you can rest in short spurts and as needed. Something that hampers the long-term goals of many people is the tendency to go all in for a long time, hit a breaking point, finally stop to rest, but wind up resting so deep that they never get back going.
So much progress is made when we learn how to combine giving our 100% with resting responsibly.
Writing this was a nice rest from some of my other projects. Now, I better get back to those. Feel free to follow me on social media on FB at Neth Words and on Twitter @nethwords to keep abreast of workshops, videos, and books in the making.
Related Journaling Prompts: What is my ideal rest break? How close can I get to that right now?