Recently, my cousin and her family went to Disneyworld. During the trip, she found this itinerary my 7-year old nephew, Mikko, wrote. “Universal [Studios], pool, relax, eat games, bed.” Such a hectic schedule, right? Don’t we all wish we could have this itinerary?
Like a lot of adults, I make “to-do lists.” But Mikko’s list reminds me of something my therapist said to me last year, “When’s the last time you rested? And I don’t mean spent a whole day in bed because you were too tired or in too much pain to get up. Like really rested?”
Being a patient is a full-time job–one we do not get compensated for. Dealing with the paperwork, doctors’ visits, and remembering meds on top of our other roles (student, employee, parent, spouse, etc) is exhausting. Sometimes, I feel like I’m behind the 8-ball. But, I’ve learned that when I don’t pencil in time for rest, I eventually burn out. The stress makes most of my diseases worse–especially the bipolar disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psoriasis, and myasthenia gravis. Pacing ourselves is important. Being intentional about rest is vital to maintaining sanity, and it also increases productivity in the long run.
Here are some things I’ve penciled into my calendar even though I do half of them alone:
–weekly episodes of Mad Men (will there ever be another show like Mad Men?)
–season premieres of Scandal
–major sporting events on TV
–“rest” – sometimes I just write the word “rest”
–lunch dates (with reminders to schedule lunch dates with friends)
–mindfulness–I try to do 10-15 minutes everyday of meditating, praying, and reciting poetry
Recently, I had a Quantum Leap marathon with one of my former students. We carved out two Saturdays, a couple weeks apart, to enjoy the classic time-travel show. I don’t have many friends who are QL fans. Sigh. But I enjoyed catching up with a former student and discussing time travel, fashion trends, and U.S. history.
Do you make time to rest? How do you rest?
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno