Dear tired one

Dear tired one,

I see you working so hard and doing all the things.

I see you pushing through the headache and the sore throat and the gurgling stomach.

After all, you made a commitment. You have to show up. You need to get that stuff done.

I see you looking in your schedule for some time to rest, some time to slow down, some time for just you. And I see you filling all of those empty spaces with things that might not be a full “Yes.”

I  know you worry about what people will think if you cancel or don’t show up. I wonder what you think about people who cancel or don’t show up. Maybe you think they’re flaky or they can’t handle it. Could it also be possible that they know their limits and honor their bodies? Might it also be true that you would judge yourself if you didn’t show up for something? Maybe you even felt your body tense up a bit when you considered slowing down or skipping out on a commitment.

You’ve always done all the things. You’re probably known for it. People count on you and rely on you and know you’ll show up. Sure, maybe you’re tired, but what other choice is there?

Oh, tired one. There is a choice. Like any new choice, it’s going to feel uncomfortable, but there is a choice.

You are the choice. Your body, your mind and your health are the choice. Letting those be just as important as the commitments to others is the choice. Giving yourself permission to be human is the choice. Forgiving yourself (and others) for not being perfect is the choice.

And on the other side of that choice is rest. Rest that helps you be able to do the most important things. Need to get on a flight in 2 days to spend time with family and feel a cold coming on? Skip that morning meeting and turn your lunch into a phone call so you can sleep for a few more hours. Need to deliver an important presentation tomorrow? Skip the happy hour and 11 PM news and get extra sleep.

It starts with giving yourself permission. And to give yourself permission, it helps to understand why you haven’t done that so far. Are your expectations of yourself (and others) higher than they need to be? Is there a fear around saying “No?” Understand yourself. Listen to what you tell yourself. Notice the moment when the fear/worry/anxiety kicks in and then try giving yourself permission to choose you. Try giving yourself permission to rest.

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