How to rest without feeling guilty

When working, especially working on yourself or for your own company, it’s quite common to actually feel guilty during resting times. Let’s see in today’s article how to take a break without feeling guilty.

If you are reading this blog since quite some time, you are probably quite keen on that sort of guilt and see what I mean. But for newcomers, imagine yourself having a full list of things to do and anyway taking some rest after working all day long. Did you never felt guilty for doing that? Are you sure? I can bet you see now what I mean !

First, feeling this sort of guilt is normal. Your mind is trying to adapt from a task focused approach, where doing things equals getting somewhere, to a rest focused approach, where you’ll get there by actually doing nothing! This is especially true if you have a lot of side hustles in your life, as your mind will try to always keep an ever-growing list of things to do in a corner of your mind.

This lead to fatigue and a depressing situation in our everyday life. Just like our phones or computers, our mind and body have some sort of battery life as well. When working, even working on things you are passionate about, this battery get drained. Periodically, you’ll need to rest and relax to fill it up again.

For example, let’s say you have pulled all-nighter shifts through the whole 2020-2021 pandemic. 2022 may be a good time to find a healthier pace for your daily life. Maybe you could plan a small trip to the beach each morning to take a break and relax.

Illustration courtesy of The Woke Salaryman

That’s when it’ll hit you the hardest: the fear of being complacent. You suddenly feel the guilt of not doing anything for your life or your work, not doing anything for your goals. You suddenly feel like all this time is wasted for nothing !

But you shouldn’t let that feeling go a long way, as it’s a loose lose situation: you effectively didn’t achieve anything, but you didn’t rest either. Your battery hasn’t filled up at all, and now you’ll feel both exhausted and depressed, but also guilty of spending all this time for nothing. Don’t blame yourself either for feeling guilty. It’s not actually your fault. Our world nowadays is 100% oriented toward productivity, hard numbers for growth and performance. That’s a thing with our generation ! If you arn’t careful, even hobbies will tend to be seen from the productivity and performance mindset.

So, I’ll write this both as a reminder for your reading this, but also for myself: You are not the problem, and the solution is simple !

  • Remember what you are working for.
  • Zoom out, check if you are where you want to be, and treat yourself fairly.
  • Take a break and make sure to actually enjoy it.
  • Don’t abuse yourself, as work can set you free, but can also enslave you.
  • Time used for yourself is time well spent.

And finally if I can leave you with just one last sentence that will stay on your mind: sometimes, it’s okay to just do nothing.

I hope you have found the above information useful and will help you on your journey to a better life. If you have any feedback or want more information, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

“Yesterday was the last day of your past. Today is the first day of your future.”

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