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Permission to Rest

It’s hard being an overachiever. Throughout all my years of school and college, I was always pushing myself to not just succeed but to be the best I possibly could be. That, of course, was not necessarily a bad thing.

But it did mean that I somehow forgot how to rest. Even when I took a break from school, I had trouble just relaxing and not trying to impose some sort of “purpose” onto whatever I might be doing. And by purpose, I don’t necessarily mean some deep existential purpose—just that if I didn’t see it as useful, it was hard for me to enjoy the down time.

My husband recently teased me when I found out my blood type during some routine blood work—I’m such an overachiever, he joked, that even my blood is A+.

Being pregnant (and now in the third trimester,) has forced me to slow down, to listen to my body and my soul, and to know when to let myself rest. It’s been a good lesson for me to learn, though I admit I’m still not the best at it.

I’m sure that some of you might struggle with this, too. It’s easy to get caught up in the to-do list and the never ending demands on our time. Whether you’re in school, college, or it’s the delicate balance of work and the rest of your life, it can seem impossible to keep all the plates spinning.

Sometimes, we just need to give ourselves permission to rest.

For you, rest may look like a 20-minute nap, or an extra hour of sleep at night. It may be self- care in the form of hot chocolate and a book. It may be something as simple as taking a longer shower or listening to music.

Whatever it is that rests your soul, take some time today to do it. Remind yourself to find your center, reorient your priorities, and take a deep breath. Drink a glass of water. Find a sunny spot to sit. If you need to, disconnect from the world for a while. Or go out with friends.

But find a moment today to do something that genuinely just makes your heart happy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive, or even time-consuming. It just needs to be something that helps you care for yourself.

Give yourself permission to rest, to recharge, to refresh yourself. Trust me, it will be worth it.

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