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Rise & Grind Ain't For Me

I never felt like "rise and grind" culture was for me. Since I was a child, I've loved my sleep and my naps. I enjoy resting and relaxing. I've felt the pressure to perform, produce, and be perfect since I was a child and it's always been exhausting. But, even before that pressure started, I just wanted to rest.

Rest is not only your divine right, it's an essential human need. "Rise and grind" culture makes people think you can sustain optimal health and wellness on minimal sleep and it's simply not true. Lack of sleep impacts your brain, internal organs, creativity, mood and so much more! It's caused me more harm than good so you'll see me advocate for rest a lot!

When I became a parent, I started to value rest even more than I already did. I had moments where I literally could not process information because I was so tired. I struggled to find my words. I couldn't remember my name. I quickly forgot what I was doing while in the process of doing tasks. I'd cry because I felt like I was losing my mind on a regular basis. I lacked energy, motivation, and the desire to take care of anything let alone my child. The culprit was a lack of rest!

I struggled with the idea of "sleep when the baby sleeps" because when do I eat, shower, brush my teeth, pay bills, cook, clean, disinfect, or have a social life if I sleep when the baby sleeps? I would get angry when people gave that advice because it didn't feel practical to me.

So, I went on a journey to find balance in my life. I accepted that sometimes I could sleep when the baby slept and other times I needed to do other things when the baby slept. My focus shifted to doing what worked for me versus doing what other people said. I found other ways to rest and relax when there wasn't enough time to sleep because baby took a short nap. Here's what I did:

  • Sat outside and took deep breaths while holding baby (we both needed the Vitamin D and fresher air)

  • Played when baby played

  • Took a bath with baby

  • Shut off technology use an hour before bed and followed baby's night routine

  • Became okay with not answering the phone if I didn't feel like talking even if people wanted to talk to baby (because talking to baby meant talking to me, too and sometimes I ain't got it in me)

  • Ordering food instead of cooking

  • Asking for help from my village and using that time to either rest or have relaxing social time

Each of these things worked for me and created space for different types of rest and relaxation. I saw boosts in my mood and energy when I practiced these things regularly. I became less focused on productivity and more focused on balanced living. I had less moments of anxiety and more present moments for my baby and others. Overall, I simply became happier.

And guess what? My success and productivity did not suffer!

If you struggling with waking up and feeling like you need to be ultra productive to deserve rest, I encourage you to shift your focus and find balance. It matters. YOU MATTER.

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