I’m not sure when it happened or how it happened, but I’ve become the person that doesn’t rest. I don’t make time for myself, I don’t sleep well, and I don’t take breaks when needed. Pre-pandemic, I took multiple trips a year. I unplugged and did the needful. However, all vacations have stopped….and with that so did my idea and practice of rest.
I was “asked” by someone I’m learning to trust to “sit down” for 30-60 days. The goal is to be more intentional about my sleep, prayers, self-care, and etc. Although, correct and warranted, I can’t help but feel like I’ve failed. Is this a direct result of superwoman syndrome? Is this the strong Black woman schema? Did I make a mistake? Am I being punished? Why does rest or taking a break communicate that I’m not who or where I’m supposed to be? Where did this unrealistic expectation come from?
As I write, I realize that I haven’t done a post that falls in the “recharge” category for some time. It’s been too long. Part of this journey that we are on to let our light shine has “recharge” components in it. I haven’t been recharging and I feel the weight of it. I don’t know what to do or how I’m going to do it. That being the case, I did what anyone would do today, I googled it.
Allow me to introduce you to sabbath and sleep hygiene. Sabbath is simply one day out of the week dedicated to a time of rest. Some Christians observe it on Sunday while some Jews practice it Friday evening to Saturday evening. Sleep hygiene is a behavioral and environmental practice that promotes good sleep.
Burnout is real, fatigue is real, and depletion is very real. You have to rest. I have to rest. We all need rest.
If you are anything like me, this is somewhat of a difficult concept. How does one sabbath? How can my sleep hygiene be better or even the best? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Sabbath is completely up to you and your needs. It’s too personal for me to say do it this way or do it that way. It can be something as simple as doing nothing all day or as complex as doing only the things you love for 24 hours. You decide what you need and how best you rest. Sleep hygiene in contrast is a bit more applicable across the board. Good sleep hygiene minimizes naps, dims light, unplugs electronics, changes sheets often, drowns out noise, utilizes calming scents, and may include a wind-down/bedtime routine. Although this list isn’t extensive, it’s a great place to start.
I’m learning to be kinder to myself and patient while I relearn how to recharge and relax. It looks different now. Although, that is annoying, it’s not the end of the world. Take some time for yourself. If you don’t already, observe sabbath and if needed improve your sleep hygiene.
Let Your Restful Light Shine!