Resting Is Not A Waste Of Time

Thursday and Friday are usually the days that I plan out my weekend and all the things I either need to do or want to do.  I'll get out my journal (or a piece of paper) and a pen then make a list of how I'll spend my time.  On there are the usual things like making groceries, getting gas, going to the post office to mail out orders, etc.  Then there will be things like seeing a movie, going to the park, washing my hair or getting a mani/pedi.  Never have I ever blocked off time on this wondrous schedule (that I've not once stuck to) to take a nap.  

Please understand, I AM the nap queen and don't apologize for it, however sometimes I'll wake up, look around and think "damn, I didn't get to finish xyz."  Take today for example.  Everything started off as planned.  I got a massage in the morning, dropped my daughter off with her friends to spend the day at an amusement park, grabbed food from one of my fave Poke bowl places, then headed home to eat, catch up on a show, do some writing, order fulfillment and other busy work things.  

I was good until I ate my food while watching The Handmaids Tale.  The "perfect storm" came together (full stomach, cry fest, relaxation and release of toxins via the massage) and the next thing I knew I was waking up confused as hell at 6:16pm.  I'd slept for several hours instead of completing things on my checklist.  Whoops!!

Now, the old me would have been upset, super disappointed and maybe even said a few harsh words about myself.  I've been known to say some really mean things when I've dropped the ball.  "Lazy" and "Always messing up" immediately come to mind.  Remember that the things you say to and about yourself aren't really coming from you, they are spit out from a place of trauma and/or were relayed to you by an authority figure.

Understand that rest is vital to our wellbeing, so taking a nap is one of the ways our bodies and brains get us to slow down and recharge.  Experts say that naps are best if we keep them to around 20-60 minutes.  Any more than that and we risk "sleep inertia" which means you napped to long (resulting in waking up groggy and confused as hell for about half an hour).  That's what happened to me today because I'm in "sleep debt". 

Sleep debt is where you aren't getting the recommended amount of sleep every night (6-8 hours is where most of us fall for a great night of rest) so you end up in debt for what you missed.  Great!  ANOTHER way to be in debt!! For example, if you are at your best after 7.5 hours of sleep but tonight you only get 6 hours of sleep, then tomorrow morning you will be in 1.5 hours of sleep debt.

Though I didn't get to all the things on my to-do list I'm extremely thankful that I didn't fight my body when it told me to rest.  To-do lists can be re-written and attacked another day.  All the busy stuff we have going on in our lives usually aren't life or death emergencies, so if we miss something it's not the end of the world.

We only get one body and I'm learning to submit to what I need so that I can stay healthy and at my best.  Our health (mental and physical) must be protected, preserved, maintained and appreciated so always remember that a day of rest is not a waste of time.  

Thank you for prioritizing yourself,

Before you go, did you have a chance to read part one of my "Building Self-Care Habits" series?



  • patricia greene

    Yes! I take daily cat naps and don’t feel bad about it AT ALL!

  • pat greene

    Yes! Love this. I take cat naps almost daily and don’t feel bad about it AT ALL!

  • Nya

    Yes to this whole thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve internally believed the “sleep is for suckas” phrase though in my frontal lobe I think it’s ridiculous. We are not at or best when we don’t rest, and that’s just a solid truth. May we embrace rest like we embrace the need to eat – do it EVERY day (multiple times – even if it’s not a nap and something quick like a 15 minutes walk outside!)

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