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Restful Revival: Unlocking Your Path to Well-Being


After a busy Christmas and New Year period I was exhausted. Two days of tiredness, then the whole week. I wondered what was going on. Despite a full nights sleep and physical rest I was still yawning and finding the need to snooze during the day. Before I trekked to my GP I did something first which may sound quite extraordinary.


I asked my body what was going on.

 

Excuse me, what?

 

Lol. Let me explain…

 


I found a quiet space and took my awareness away from my thoughts and mind down to my body (like if you were to do a body scan and become aware of how your arms, legs, head, chest, etc are feeling). I spent a few moments in this space just noticing the different sensations I might have been feeling right then. And then I asked the question.

 

What do you need?

 

And an answer came like some fizz at the bottom of the glass bubbling up to the surface.

 

“Do nothing”.

 

I thought I had been resting. It had been holiday season and for the last couple of weeks of school holidays I had eased back into a little client work around ‘hanging out’ with my three-nager.

 

I thought I had been ‘taking it easy’.

 

Before I began to realise that ‘down time’ lately was replying to emails and catching up on paperwork.


When I was hanging out with the kid I noticed that my mind was still on work. I would catch myself and come back to being present with her as much as I could but the to do list was forever in the back of my head and this time with her which was supposed to be fun and joyful felt like a chore. I also didn’t quite realise that whilst the holiday season had been wonderfully social, we hadn’t been alone in our own space for 5 weeks. Again, super fun, but super exhausting…for all of us.

 

“Do nothing”.

 

It was clear as day…but hard as a mother juggling multiple responsibilities to accept!

 

But I had to learn two things:

 

  1. For my practice to grow and to keep growing I was going to have to learn how to rest.

  2. For my child to thrive and to keep thriving I was going to have to learn how to rest.  

I had one week left of school holidays, after which I planned to go back full throttle into work.

 

Into ‘doing’.

 

Yeah, that hasn’t happened.

 

I am going to share what I have been leaning into instead...


1.Reframing My Perspective: Instead of viewing self-care as an indulgence or luxury, I reframed it as an essential component of my ability to fulfill my responsibilities. Especially my role as a mother. I had to recognize that taking care of myself isn't just for my benefit; it also enables me to show up as my best self for others.

 

2. Practicing Time Management: I took a closer look at how I was allocating my time. Were there opportunities to streamline tasks, delegate responsibilities, or set boundaries to create space for self-care? I also took a few minutes to jot down what I wanted to focus on this year, and a barometer I used was whether or not it was going to bring me joy or not. This is going to help to know what to say yes to this year. But it also means I am going to have to practice saying ‘no’ alot more.

 

3. Setting Boundaries: I am learning to say no to additional commitments or requests that infringe upon not only my need for self-care and rest, but also my ability to complete projects which will give me more time in the long-run. I am saying no to things that a year ago I would have happily said yes to, only to find out that I didn’t quite have the time nor the energy to complete them and they seeped into my time with my family. Prioritize activities that nourish and replenish you, and don't feel guilty about protecting your time and energy.

 

4. A Daily Routine but Start Small: You don't need hours of free time to practice self-care. Begin by incorporating small, manageable self-care practices into your daily routine. This could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, going for a short walk, or practicing gratitude before bed. I have a non-negotiable walk in nature in the morning even if for just 30 minutes before the kid is up. And I am working on a few deep breaths every night before bed instead of scrolling.

 


5. Schedule Self-Care: It has taken me some time to learn to justify taking time for myself over working to pay the bills, and whilst I appreciate that I am in a privileged position compared to others I believe that this information could be useful for anyone. This deserves a post of its own but in a nutshell, once I got my priorities straight things got really simple. If I want my child to be happy I need to prioritise my health and wellness. She won’t care about the extra toys she has to play with if I am not there to play with her, or if I am tired and cranky all the time. So, I spent less, so I could work less.

 

We began to appreciate what we do have. We grow our own veg. We recycle. Holidays are simple and close to home (means that we get to explore the beautiful country around us). You don’t need a kid to make living a priority - because what is the point in taking on more work if I am too tired and cranky to experience the joy of living? 

 

But to be completely honest, this point takes dedication (to you) and practice, and it has taken me some time to permit myself to do so. So give yourself the patience and permission too. Treat self-care activities with the same level of importance as your other responsibilities by scheduling them into your calendar. Block off dedicated time for self-care, whether it's a few minutes of deep breathing exercises, a leisurely walk in nature, or a full day dedicated to doing something you love and stick to it as you would any other appointment.

 

6. Ask For Help: Don't hesitate to enlist the help of others when needed. Whether it's delegating household chores to family members or enlisting the support of colleagues at work, remember that it's okay to ask for assistance and share the load. If you are like me you have had those times when you have asked for help in your head “I wish they would just do this thing for me so I could have a breather” but not verbalised it! VERBALISE IT! Ask for help and do it OUT LOUD. No one can read minds, and until you ask they would never know. Silly it seems to state but it’s funny how we forget to ask especially when we think we should be able to do all the things without complaining. Problem is, that usually we end up complaining anyway, so best to just go ahead and ask for the help ay?

 

7. Challenge Perfectionism: Let go of the belief that everything has to be done perfectly or that you have to do it all yourself. Embrace the idea of "good enough" and give yourself permission to prioritize self-care, even if it means letting go of some responsibilities or lowering your standards in certain areas.

 

8. Listening to My Body: Tune into your body's signals and honor its need for rest and relaxation. Pay attention to signs of fatigue or burnout, such as exhaustion, irritability, or difficulty concentrating, and take proactive steps to address them before they escalate.

 

9. Creating a Restorative Environment: Design your living and working spaces to promote relaxation and tranquility. Surround yourself with calming colors, soothing scents, and comfortable furnishings that invite you to unwind and recharge.

 

10. Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself and recognize that it's okay to have limitations and needs. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion and let go of any guilt or self-judgment about taking time for self-care.


I say ‘leaning into’ because none of this happens overnight. In fact there are some things on that list that I have been incorporating into my life for a while now, but not only does it take time for these adjustments to be made, but it is also easy to sneak back into the old ways.

 

This is very much a work in progress.

 

But! What I can tell you are the surprising and amazing outcomes of adopting this approach.

 

  • I have more clarity, energy and focus.

  • Any work that I do now seems to take far less time than previously.

  • I believe that my current level of health wouldn’t be what it is without taking these measures.

  • My relationships are healthy and not draining.

  • My relationship with my child is enhanced. I have more space, presence and patience for her and she is happier for it.  

And even if I wasn’t experiencing the first four that last outcome would have been enough for me.

 

So, what are you waiting for?

 

By prioritizing self-care and making time for rest, you'll not only enhance your well-being but also improve your ability to meet your responsibilities with clarity, energy, and resilience.

 

It is easy for us to blame our responsibilities for not being able to prioritize self-care and rest.

 

But self-care isn't selfish—it's necessary for your overall well-being and effectiveness.

 

Taking care of yourself isn't a luxury—it's a necessity.

 

Stay well friends,

Monica x


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