Does anyone else feel that their sense of purpose and accomplishment comes from being busy? And when you are “lazy”, do you feel guilty about it? How about in the wake of trauma, do you keep busy to avoid feeling the pain? I am certainly guilty of ALL of these things. For so many of us, productivity has this way of giving us feelings of satisfaction and wholeness. We are praised for creating and producing things from a very early age. This week, I challenge you to notice your urge to get everything done and instead make a choice to rest. Notice what comes up. A deeper connection? Feeling more regulated? Are creative juices flowing? Do emotions come to the surface? Downtime opens up space for social-emotional learning and wellness to blossom and suppressed emotion to release.
This week is a perfect reminder of our need to rest. The clocks changed for most of us, our body clocks are out of whack, we aren’t getting our normal amount of sleep, and everything is telling us to slow down and adjust.
In Maine, we are recovering from a serious trauma and all kinds of emotions are flowing. Busyness can be a comfort, a distraction. I have kept on task since last Thursday, but anytime I allow myself to be still and digest the humanness behind this tragedy, the tears flow, my heart aches, and I feel the deepest sadness in my gut. Suppressed emotion lead to more suffering, more pain, and less relief. And going against our human urge to avoid pain and seek pleasure is really hard.
How about we model rest and simple connection for our kids, and praise them for taking care of themselves by slowing down and resting?
The result is a natural tuning into our bodies, which is a trait we are all born with yet are conditioned away from. When we tune in and stay connected to our physical and emotional need for rest, we maintain self-awareness, self-management, and self-care. We feel less reactive and more balanced. We release suppressed emotion, sometimes through creative outlets. This is critical to social-emotional learning.
When we can model rest and relaxation for our kids, WITH our kids, it teaches them the importance of rest. Relaxing together with no agenda leads to a deeper connection, space for more conversation (your kids and students will likely open up in new ways), the blossoming of creativity, and emotional regulation.