Cultivating play & rest; letting go of exhaustion
As an adult, you probably feel like you don't have time to play or rest. But here's the thing: you do. You just don't realize it!
If you're like me, you've been working hard for a long time. And it's probably gotten you where youare today. But lately, I've noticed that so many people are exhausted—not just physically but mentally as well. Life is in session. It starts early in the morning and doesn't stop until late at night.
I used to think this was just part of life: you work hard, you get worn out. But there are other ways to live! There are many practices I utilize that help me relax and feel more replenished. I work with my clients in identifying what is life-giving and what is life-draining. Different seasons provide invitation and opportunity to experiment with different tools. This may include, but isn’t limited to, journaling, prayer, meditation, silence and solitude, time in nature, yoga, walking (or other forms of exercise,) connecting with others, listening to music, drawing or painting and practicing mindfulness.
The thing is, we're so used to being busy all the time that we don't even notice when we're overtired or overstimulated—we just keep pushing through. But pushing through isn't always the best way to get things done. In fact, sometimes it can make things worse than if you stopped for a second and took a break to honor yourself and your needs.
When I was younger, I used to think that exhaustion meant I was doing well at work and life—that it meant I was taking on more than others could handle. But now that I'm older and wiser (and hopefully less exhausted), I know better: exhaustion isn't a badge of honor; it's a sign that something needs adjustment in your life and routine. It’s so very important to integrate play and rest into your schedule!
When you're tired, it's hard to feel like you have the energy to do anything. But if you don't take time to rest and play, you'll only be left with more exhaustion.
The best way to integrate play into your routine is to trust your gut and instincts—if something feels like fun and energizes you, then go for it! And if something makes you feel tired or exhausted, find something else that works better for you.
Here are some ideas for playing as an adult:
● Go dancing! It's a great way to let loose and have fun with friends.
● Play a board game with friends or family members—it's a great way to connect with
someone in a low-pressure situation.
● Take a cooking class or explore new recipes online. Cooking is an excellent way of
expressing creativity and connecting with others over food.
And here are some ways to rest:
● Take a nap! Naps are great because they're quick, easy ways to recharge your batteries between work hours after lunchtime or just before dinner. If possible, sleep in darkness and silence—this will help maximize sleep quality over quantity (sleep quality is much more important than quantity.)
● Try NSDR. My new favorite practice! Here’s an article that explains what this is: https://www.sleep.com/sleep-health/non-sleep-deep-rest. There are also lots of helpful guided sessions on YouTube.
We’re all feeling it, dear one.
The exhaustion. The overwhelm. The feeling like you have to be the one that gets everything done, the person who takes care of everyone else, and the one who never stops working.
It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of doing, doing, doing—and then suddenly realizing that you haven’t done anything for yourself in ages. We’ve all been there.
But what if we could flip that? What if we could find ways to play and rest as adults? How would that change our lives? A lot! And it doesn’t have to be hard or complicated—it just requires letting go of some of the things that keep us from playing and resting in the first place.
I know it sounds scary at first—but trust me when I say this: once you let go of some of those things, you might just realize that they weren’t actually serving you anyway!
If you are in need of a space or some support during this busy season of your life, I’d love to help.
Grace and Peace,