Sorry for the late blog post. I’m recovering from Covid.
I am so grateful that I’ve prioritized rest in my life. Whether it’s resting from illness, resting from lack of sleep or exhaustion, or resting to rejuvenate, rest has a rare healing quality that nothing else compares to.
I haven’t always been a person who enjoys rest. Aside from the fact that my name – Lea – literally means weary one, I shot out into this world ready for action. I walked at nine months old. When my mom picked me up as a child my legs would continue to move as if I was running. At three years old I took a trip to the corner store, blocks away, by myself. At preschool I loathed naps and thought it was a great waste of time. By five I had climbed to the top of every tree, fence, and monkey bars that I could find.
To cope with my unrelentless energy, my mom put me in gymnastics, figure skating, soccer, softball, track and field, field hockey, bicycling, and swim lessons. I couldn’t get enough movement, and she couldn’t tire me out. I was like a Border Collie – I needed a task to keep me busy or I got into trouble.
Only when my daughter was born, and I felt the true exhaustion of being a young mom, did I learn the value of rest. I began to take naps when my daughter did, because let’s be honest, a tired mama is a cranky mama. When my girl got older we would have quiet time, where our whole family would read and rest. Sometimes I’d set her up with a project at the kitchen table, set a timer for twenty minutes, and have a rest on the couch. Rest was respected in our family.
While writing my first book, I had the privilege of creating my own schedule. I would work through the morning and early afternoon, then eat, nap and go for a walk. That afternoon nap and movement was crucial to my healing from the trauma I was writing about. It changed my energy and restored me. It made it possible for me to continue writing day after day, and year after year.
Now napping is firmly embedded into my self-care routine. I don’t need a reason or excuse to have one. Naps make me relaxed, happy, clear, grounded, and peaceful. I wake feeling rested, recharged, and ready for the afternoon and evening. After naps I have increased energy, vitality, and creativity.
Go take a nap now.
-In Napping Solidarity