Rest Is Liberation

Kiersten Kelley, LCSW on Feb 02, 2023 in Mood and Feelings

For the majority of this winter break, I have laid in bed and rested. I have not written a blog post in a while or recorded a podcast episode because I have chosen to rest. I have not worked out in a week or meal-prepped nutritious meals because I have chosen to rest.

I see everyone going all the time, and during the holidays, everyone is more stressed than usual because they treat the holidays like a job. As long as I have to work 50 hours a week, I will rest on my breaks over everything, and I think everyone else should too.

As a therapist and social worker, the number one problem I see people have is stress. But when we really break it down, there are many things in our lives that we have control over to reduce stress. I hear people say things like, “I have to plan this party for my friends, kids, or partner,” “I have to host my family for the weekend,”“I have to work extra hours to complete a last-minute project for my boss,” “I have to plan this trip,” “I have to run all of these errands,” or “I have to clean my whole house.” The list goes on and on. After I hear about what is stressing people out, I often ask why they are doing those things, and the answer is always, “I have to.” Why? In our lives, we need to make sure we are prioritizing things that bring us joy and peace to take steps toward liberating ourselves.

Next time, instead of sprinting to the next task, take a minute and ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this? Is there a way to modify this task to make it less stressful?” It seems trivial, but often we do not realize how much we are operating on autopilot. Rest, rest, rest!

Kiersten Kelley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Miami, FL.

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