Discover more from Autumn Diaries
The rush to rest
And the power of chores and self-care
A little update before I dive into today’s topic: Sunday is my weigh-in day and as of today I am down 8 lbs since I re-started my program two weeks ago. I love not counting calories and have been able to stick to my three meals a day and no snacking. I tried the Essentrics exercises last week but it was too much too soon indeed. I also didn’t quite gel with the instructors and did not like the music they use, so I canceled my free trial and no harm done (apart from a very sore knee!) An old health issue is making a recurrance and causing a good amount of anxiety. I’ve been able to dodge it before but I think this time I have to deal with it, sigh. My word this year is feel and I am already getting plenty of practice at feeling my anxieties without numbing them with food! I’ve been journaling a lot, using my planner, doing deep breathing, and otherwise distracting myself with work. Mostly I am grateful to have started and to be back on this journey.
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Let’s talk about today’s main topic: REST.
For most of my life rest has been a guilty necessity. I’ve always been aware of the guilt but not of the necessity.
Rest, of course, is important for everyone, but apparently us Human Design Projectors need an extra dose of it:
As important as rest is for Projectors, most of them aren’t getting enough of it. Our society is built largely for and by Generators, since Generators make up over 70% of the population. Due to the programming and conditioning of a society built for Generators, Projectors often feel guilt and shame around their need for rest and play. They’ve been told that it’s lazy to rest, and that they have to work hard every day in order to be successful.
I know not everyone is into Human Design (get your own chart here if you are curious about it) but I continue to be astounded by how accurately my type and profile describe my life! It’s really helping me feel differently about things and making decisions that feel more aligned with who I am. Ultimately Human Design is about our energy and how we manage it.
In my case I’ve tried to balance my energy depletion and restoration ever since I was a young girl, without knowing that this is what I was doing…
… I remember being called indolent by my grandmother because I wasn’t always running around at family gatherings, trying to help clear tables and wash dishes like my cousins did. I just wanted to stay seated and enjoy the adult conversations and relax while topping up my energy with theirs. This wasn’t about not wanting to be helpful, this was my way of managing my energy.
… Or take my career where I always stopped myself from climbing too high on the corporate ladder because that meant long hours and managing people, both of which was energetically too draining and not worth the higher income.
There are many more examples and while I instinctively knew that I needed to do what I did, I didn’t know why. As a result my actions often came with a good amount of guilt and feeling like a failure for not being more ‘productive and successful.’
It’s when I combine my need for rest with my resistance to attention that things become interesting. Cue in the rush to rest.
What is it?
I tend to rush through tasks, chores and activities because my goal is always to sit down and chill (= rest). Mundane things like showering in the morning, putting on my make-up, watering my plants, preparing a meal, cleaning the kitchen - always rushing through them, or procrastinating or avoiding them, because I’d rather just be sitting and chilling. This way of living has two consequences:
I am rarely present in the moment because my focus is on the future when I can finally sit down and rest.
I never actually get proper rest because I always feel guilty and like I should be doing something instead of truly relaxing.
Interestingly, dieting often made me live more in the moment. It’s when I paid proper attention to what I was doing, even calorie counting helped in this regard because it made me be mindful about portions and ingredients. Alas, dieting this way required a level of attention that was hard for me to maintain in the long run. Not just from an energy management perspective but also because paying attention inadvertently brings feelings and anxieties to the surface that I’d rather keep tuning out.
The rush to rest is all about avoiding the attention (and my anxieties), and spending as much time as possible in my perceived safe bubble.
I wanted to talk about all of this because this week I noticed that, despite my health anxieties and having a full plate with work, the house and the weight loss program, I’ve been feeling less rushed and calmer. That was such an interesting observation that it made me stop and look at the things I was doing, and how I was doing them. I realized that, slowly over the last six months or so, I had established some new routines and habits:
Every Friday I water my plants, more in the summer if it’s really hot. This is huge. I’ve always loved plants but I’ve never been good at looking after them and have killed more than I care to admit. Last year I decided to only have plants that are easy maintenance and to take better care of them. I still don’t always get it right, and I don’t always feel like spending the 20 minutes it takes to go through the house and water them all. What helps is… not telling myself that it’s only 20 minutes, but deciding to dedicate the next 20 minutes to taking good care of the plants that bring me so much joy.
Filling my water bottle every night. Last year I started using a 48oz water bottle that I fill and drink twice every day. After learning the hard way that I needed to up my water intake (large bodies need more) that was the method that worked best for me. When we moved to the house I started filling the bottle every night so it was ready in the morning. I use filtered water and it takes two runs through the filter container to fill the bottle, which is why I often got a late start on my water in the mornings because I was too busy with other things to take care of the filtered water. It’s such a small thing, but coming into the kitchen in the mornings and grabbing the full bottle of water always makes me feel good :)
Weekly meal planning. This is still a work in progress but I am getting better at spending 30-45 minutes on Sundays with my weight loss planner. I reflect on the week gone by and then look at the week ahead: what’s in my schedule, what do I have in the fridge that needs eating, and what do I need to shop for? Then I make a plan for the weekly meals around the perishables in my fridge and how much time, and energy, I’ll have to cook that week. The plan is not set in stone and if my body craves something different to what was planned, or if something comes up that calls for a different meal, I’ll have that. I’ll never be rigid with my plan but having it removes the guesswork and there is less flailing and veering off course during the week.
Weekly nailcare. This is a relatively new thing! Just like my plants, I used to be quite neglectful with my fingernails, they would break easily and I didn’t like them as some of my nailbeds got shortened after a few bad experiences with gel nails in my 30s. Last fall, for the first time in ages, I decided to stick on fake nails for my Eule Planner video because my own nails looked too terrible. I won’t lie, I loved them! And toyed with the idea of just using fake nails again going forward. But after a week or so they started falling off and I quickly realized that, once again, my nails underneath were ruined. I just don’t like that. So I made a decision: in 2023 I am going to grow strong nails and do weekly home manis and really look after my nails. I am still growing out some of that damage but they are already looking better and I am determined to keep this up. Plus, natural nails will also be much more practical when I start gardening this year.
I realized: all of these chores and activities are acts of self-care. And between having a schedule for some of them and focusing on preparation for others, I have created a calm and energy-restoring self-care routine.
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Phew. Are you still with me? This post turned out to be much longer than intended. I hope it was helpful though, especially for my fellow Projectors. And even if you’re not a Projector, look up your own Human Design chart and learn about your energy profile, it will likely be quite eye opening.
How are you feeling two weeks into the new year?
Have a calm and wonderful week,