Yep, you read that right.
Our culture has long valued a strong work ethic, and that’s great. But while it’s important to function well and give your best, it won’t be possible to do that for long if you’re burning the candle at both ends. Hence, the need for a strong rest ethic.
Studies show that humans are over-optimistic. For example, we tend to start the day with unrealistic expectations. And when things don’t go as planned, we feel disappointed and guilty for not getting things done. Yet somehow, we still feel exhausted.
If you can relate to that, you’re not alone. While working from home gave us flexibility, it also blurred the boundaries between our personal and professional lives.
So what can we do about it? Rest.
I know, that sounds easier said than done. With all the tasks that need to be done, how can you even think about resting?
But then, the reverse is also true. How can you even work when you don’t rest?
Building A Rest Ethic
Think of your work ethic as inhaling. No matter how long you can hold your breath, you will eventually need to exhale at some point. That’s the only way for you to keep on going.
It’s the same thing with work. Don’t hate yourself if you’re resting instead of hustling. You need to rest and recharge in order to produce quality work. And now’s the best time to do it. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have relatively more time to spend at home.
However, the quality of your rest also matters. Watching Netflix, for example, doesn’t always leave you feeling so rested, does it? Neither does checking your Facebook account, right?
The Need for Noble Leisure
If consuming media doesn’t give much of us the rest we need, what would then? According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, rest is not just about relaxation. The best sort, what he called “noble leisure,” gives our lives meaning and fulfillment.
Yes, watching TV or browsing social media can kill time. But more often than not, it also leaves us feeling empty or insecure because it can be so mindless.
So really, it would be best to invest in passion projects that can take our minds off work. Learning new skills like cooking, playing an instrument, or practicing a foreign language are good examples.
In other words, noble leisure is active and purposeful. It should give us a sense of purpose and clarity. It relaxes our mind by making it focus on something else. That is the rest ethic that we should endeavour to build.
Check In With Yourself
Most of us equate our worth with work. The more we accomplish, the more worthy we consider ourselves.
It’s time to change this. It’s time to stop feeling guilty about not working.
Instead, take some time to reflect and ask yourself how busy (or anxious) you are. During your down time, try to write down your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even coherent, it just has to be true. Simply just check in with yourself and ask how you’re doing.
Journaling helps us understand ourselves better. And when we do, we find ways for improving both personally and professionally.
Not into writing? You can always take a walk outside for a little introspection.
Try A Digital Detox
Time flies, especially if you’re checking your phone all the time. So aside building good habits, journaling, and introspection, veer away from your screen while you’re in rest mode.
If you can’t do a full day without social media just yet, start small. For instance, spend an entire morning without checking notifications. Once you get the hang of it, the rest will be easier.
Having a digital detox helps you focus on your active tasks. Without the constant distractions, you’ll become more engaged, attentive, and yes, well-rested.
Regardless of what you decide to do during free time, don’t feel guilty about taking a healthy break for yourself every once in a while. Just like inhaling and exhaling, work and rest should be given equal importance.
Remote Staff has been assisting Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you for the last 15 years and counting. Our skilled remote workers from the Philippines have been trained to help you ease the workload – so you can rest without stress and hassle.