Are you a recovering workaholic? If so, when was the last time you really rested? Especially in the field of Coaching and Consulting our very presence is a service that we provide to others. So often I find that clients not only seek me out because they have questions to ask me, but simply because they need to say something and make sure that someone else hears it. There’s power in our words and power in bringing those words into a thankful vibration out into the world when we speak them. Something even more powerful than when we hold those thoughts to ourselves. And so when your very presence is “work” what does it look like to take a rest? I’ve been contemplating this idea often.
I come from a background – perhaps I could say I’m a recovering workaholic – a recovering type A personality. Someone who is used to taking pride in working long hours and doing hard things. And being the one who stays the latest and works the hardest, who burns the midnight oil. That is what I am recovering from. As part of my recovery I am constantly exploring new ways to rest. When was the last time you discovered you needed rest?
How have your Work and Rest Schedules Changed?
With the global pandemic it’s been interesting to see how much attention we’ve put on how we change work. So many people had to adapt to creating a home office, creating a new schedule to abide by, figuring out how to use Zoom (which gratefully those of us in the coaching space have known about for a long time by now). But as everyone was so focused on thinking about how to get work done I think we may have lost sight of how to get rest. Because when everyone’s working from home where do you go to rest?
Now of course the easy answer here is to take a nap. Or maybe it’s not as easy as I’d like to think. Like I said, a recovering workaholic here, I used to think that naps were a sign of laziness and this is someone who minored in Spanish and did a summer abroad in a place where everything shuts down at lunch so people can digest and rest before resuming anything that resembles work. But again once I started working full-time taking a nap seemed shameful, a sign of laziness, an indication that you had poor work ethic somehow. But as a business owner and someone who owns full authority over my schedule I suddenly found that if I’m tired at 2pm, the appropriate thing is to rest, to take a nap, to give myself a break. What a concept – to give yourself a break – to gift yourself a break. Are you not deserving of a break? Aren’t we all?
Recovery is Necessary
2020 has been exhausting. It has tried us in full, as in so many possible directions. And yes, all that direction pulling is bound to stretch and grow us in new ways. Every athlete I’ve ever known will tell you that in order to create new muscle the most important factor is the quality of your rest, of your sleep, after the strain. It’s in the rest that all of the growth happens. The recovery is necessary for us to continue. Now I, again a recovering workaholic, have found that I am good for working beyond the point of needing rest, pushing beyond sleepy, getting an extra cup of green tea or a shot of cappuccino. I feel my body yearning to relax but recently I’m finding that not only can I give in to the naps, breaks to go walk outside, TV pauses in the day, or sometimes I just sit and breathe. Not only have I found new value in those things but now I’m thinking how else could I rest?
What if I got really creative with my rest? What if you got creative with your rest? Shall we explore radical resting together?
I am writing this from a self-imposed staycation. I found myself in a new kind of burnout this past week, not from working all the time but from being present and holding space for my children and for my husband. What do you do when your career is holding space? If the service you provide is your presence? In order to rest there comes a time where we all need to just hold space for ourselves. I’m writing to you from a Holiday Inn at an undisclosed location. I’m in a king sized bed and I have a fridge that’s stocked with Rose cider just for me, and a couple of those cashew cream yogurts that Trader Joe’s makes. Of course the easy answer here is to take a nap. Or maybe it’s not as easy or as obvious as I think.
Register for a Retreat for Coaches of Color
If you are curious what it could look like to rest radically I want to invite you to the Coaches of Color Retreat. This will be a half-day virtual experience. There will be very little lecture. There will be zero talk of business and marketing and funnels and all of those things that entrepreneurs love to fill their brains with. Instead we’re going to experience rest together. We’re going to use the retreat to close our eyes and to breathe and to stretch and yes, to rest. Come get radical with me.