You Don’t Have to Enter the Hospital to Rest

I have been reading the book Achiever Fever by Claire Booth she is going to be one of my first interviews for the new podcast Unclenched (releasing the first week of September!) In the book she talks about feeling so tired and overwhelmed. To the point where she was secretly wishing she would get into a car accident and would be forced to stay in the hospital for a few days (no significant injuries to her or the car) just for the chance to sleep, rest and stop moving. I could so relate to this story and even shared it with a couple of clients who also agreed. We were all embarrassed to admit it was true but also found comfort that we weren’t alone in our wish. 

This story sounds crazy, but in reality, those of us who are longing for forced rest what we are seeking is permission to rest. We want that permission so badly. We can’t give it to ourselves, so we wish for harm to come to us so that we can check out of life for a while rather than risk disappointing people or letting people know we ‘can’t handle everything.’  Sounds crazy, when I type it and yet I know I am not alone. 

We want permission: 

  • to be ourselves,
  • to stop the hustle,
  • to rest,
  • to be enough just as we are,
  • to stop trying to do everything right,
  •  to just be
  • to do whatever we want whenever we want. 

And we convince ourselves that somewhere out there is the permission.

  • When we achieve the right amount of success
  • When we get married
  • When we have kids
  • When our kids enter school
  • When our kids are grown
  • When we love our job
  • When we are older
  • When we retire
  • When we cross some imaginary made-up line. 

On and on the line keeps moving. That almighty line of permission keeps changing.  The thing is the only person who can give us permission is ourselves. I know you are thinking, “Duh Nancy, I KNOW that.” Logically, we all know this fact. It isn’t like that statement is a great ah-ha.

And yet each day we start on a quest to win permission. TO FINALLY BE ENOUGH so we can relax, stop hustling, and accept ourselves flaws and all.

Even though we logically KNOW we are the only ones who can give ourselves permission to stop hustling. We tend to blame everyone else and ourselves:

  • If my Mom wasn’t so needy
  • if my son didn’t have special needs
  • if my husband did more around the house
  • if my boss just understood how much I have on my plate and how hard I am working.  
  • if only I weren’t so lazy. 
  • if only I didn’t make so many mistakes. 
  • If only I didn’t need to go to bed so early. 

So here’s the secret. Here’s how you can stop the hustle, stop the blame and quiet that Monger. 

Accept where you are. Accept that you are tired, overwhelmed, and can’t do it all. Own that your plate is overflowing (for a variety of reasons).

Stop looking at the WHY and start looking at the WHAT.

The question isn’t WHY can’t I give myself permission?
The question is, WHAT do I need to accept about myself so I can quit seeking permission?

Start with acceptance. Noticing when you are feeling overwhelmed and giving yourself some extra love. Telling yourself, “This is hard we have way too much on our schedule today, lots of deep breaths, we can get through this.” And then gradually, you can say, “What do I need to take off of the schedule so I can rest more? What is really important here?”

This permission belief is a hard one, and it is at the core of High Functioning Anxiety.  The new way I have been working with clients is incredible at unhooking this.  I have been working with clients in a new approach using an app called Voxer, and it has been revolutionary! Our work together is not just limited to ‘one on one sessions’ in Columbus, Ohio.  It can happen anytime so we can catch these moments of hammering ourselves and secretly desiring to enter the hospital and turn them around. Interested? Get in touch and we can talk.