We are inundated with messages of soldiering on when we feel unwell or tired, particularly by makers of medication designed to help us recover from illnesses such as colds and flus. We can feel pressure from our workplaces to keep on working when our bodies are telling us that we really need to rest. We might even tell ourselves the same story, that we can't afford to take time out or the work is so important that it needs to be done, and that we are the only ones who can do it.
Being able to care for ourselves means taking time out and slowing ourselves down when we need to. This might mean having a sleep in or going to bed a bit earlier than usual. It might mean saying no to some of the things we usually do. It might mean changing our routines or habits to take time out and stop ourselves from doing things mindlessly.
We can soon feel the benefits of taking some rest. We might be able to recover faster and we will feel the strain on our body easing. Our bodies will thank us for the rest and we will be able to regain our energy and strength and find ourselves getting back to our usual routine.
We might even have had a chance to refocus on what matters most and shift some of our expectations after a period of illness. We might have been able to think about what it is that truly matters in our lives, what we might want to change and what doesn't matter in the way it did before. This can lead to a sorting of priorities, a sifting process to get rid of some things and hold on even more tightly to others.
Great article, lynjo. I could particularly relate to your point about time to refocus on what matters most. There are times if you refuse to take time off, your body tells you 'enough is enough' and you end up so sick you need to spend time in hospital as happened to me once. It was a time for taking a long hard look at my priorities and getting them sorted.