It’s taken me ages, but I’ve finally realized that taking time to rest is at least as important as getting things done. I’ve been figuring out some better rest habits, too.
I was in this cycle for ages where I would push myself really hard, burn out, recover a bit (but not fully), and then push myself hard until I burnt out again. It’s taken me a while to break out of it–several years, even. This cycle included a lot of stress and trauma, which created sort of a feedback loop, as well. Not having the energy to cope with emotions made the stress that much worse, which is why being rested is so important.
The past few months I’ve been forced into taking the time to chill out and reconsider things. I had a good thing going, streaming a few times a week over the course of a couple months, but a bad experience knocked me off my feet, sapping what little energy I had left.
A key part of all this is my stunted level of emotional intelligence. For ages I would repress my emotions and try to flee from them, even though this just added to my problems. I’m still working on changing this, but I’m doing much better than I was. Emotional health is a thing, and I see it ignored all too often.
There’s a better way to do things, as I’ve been learning. Rest is at least as important as doing the work. If I’m not rested, the work will add to my stress, which will impede my efforts and leave me with a sub-par result. Or, if I’m burnt out, as has been the case for ages now, I won’t get any work done at all.
The new cycle I’m working on goes something like this:
Work -> Rest -> Recharge/Re-inspire -> Work
Work is “doing the thing”, whatever it is.
Rest is taking time to do some self-care, whether that’s keeping up with hygiene, doing some mindfulness, or indulging in something relaxing.
Recharging is doing things to keep morale up and keep me excited about life, like going for a hike or reading a good book. Spending time with loved ones is important, too. Those social connections can help a lot.
Re-inspiring is exploring things to boost my enthusiasm for my work, such as perusing cool art, attentively listening to music, or taking time to enjoy something else to get my creative juices flowing.
Taking care of ourselves is vital. Our work may try our patience at times, but it’s important to take time to recover and keep a positive attitude going. Otherwise there’s that risk of burning out, which can take anywhere from weeks to months to even a few years to recover from.
So please, look after yourselves. 🙂