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The productivity of rest

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

( 5 min reading time)

This has been a tough lesson for me personally. One I was unwilling to see. Unable to see actually.

It has taken me a full on burn-out, a couple of bruised ribs, many migraines, months of osteopathy and learning about human design to finally understand the full potential and power of rest.

As a single mom and the only financial provider for my family I have been under quite a lot of stress the last couple of years. I wanted desperately to change jobs because I was feeling very unhappy with the job I had. I would get selected for interviews but somehow the job would never land. Either I would get the job but would have to work days which were simply impossible due to childcare issues and schedules with my ex or they would choose a better fitting candidate. I started to feel stuck, hopeless and desperate. I would start to feel scarcity. I wasn’t making enough to get by comfortably. I couldn’t leave the job I resented and I seemed unable to move to a better feeling job with more income.

I was in that cycle for a couple of years, depleting myself on every level. I desperately needed rest to recharge and get back in my strength again. But instead of resting, I went on going because I needed to find a solution.

I was feeling more unhappy, more unaligned, more scarcity, more unabled and more depleted every day. I would often feel hopeless. Unable to see how I could break this cycle.

Human Design has made such a major change for me because it started to speak of resting in a way I never understood before. HD taught me the power of resting. The power of self care actually. True self care, not the I got my nails done self care we see on Instagram.

HD taught me that my design needs rest and time alone to recharge. It taught me the necessity of this. When I take time to be on my own and have enough time to rest, I will be very efficient, creative and enjoy my life the moments after the rest.

Human Design taught me about my ebb and flow in a way I never heard before. I simply am not built to GO GO GO all the time. I actually don’t think anybody is built for that, you will only last a certain amount of time before you crash.

So now I make sure I get enough alone time. I talk to my kids about this, explaining to them why I need it. I explained to my partner as well. The beauty is that everybody involved now also starts to recognize whenever they need some time on their own. And how it’s no problem whatsoever to take this time for yourself.

It gets challenging when I have many things to do but I unexpectedly need to rest. A lot of the time I will want to push through, but more and more often I now understand and trust my need for rest. I now know that after my period of rest I will produce good stuff. I will flow creatively, I will want to be productive and take care of all sorts of things and I will feel fulfilled and satisfied. I am a nicer mom, feel more fun and passionate and above all it feels very sustainable and loving to look after myself this way.

The time I need to rest varies. Being a single mom most of my days I will be running our household (picking up from school, cooking, etc) and I will rest when the kids are at school. So a couple of hours during the day and I will go to bed and relax as soon as the kids go to bed. Sometimes I can rest for a full day, but this hardly ever seems necessary. Resting a couple of hours during 1 day is usually all I need.

How can you start to use rest as your most trusted medicine for productivity?

If you’re still reading until this point I think it’s fair to say you feel a longing for more rest as well. So that’s an important first sign.

I feel it as a deep longing coming from the inside. Also whenever I get a slight headache, I know I have to stop using my brain.

The most important step is always recognising your true need. The next and very important step is to accept and honor your needs. See how you as quickly as possible can arrange time and space to rest.

And start to explore what rest you need. Binge watching can be awesome, but can fill your head with a lot of unrest as well. So be mindful about what you consume during your time of rest.

I would advise you to spend at least a little bit of time doing absolutely nothing. That actually is the deepest form of rest you can offer yourself. By doing nothing. Sip your tea or coffee, watch the birds outside. Watch the trees or the raindrops or just sit and stare and don’t observe anything. Enjoy the qu