Do You Play And Rest Enough?


What would you think if I said that inviting more play and rest into our lives and without feeling guilty about it, was one of the major keys to wholehearted living?

Brené Brown (author of The Gifts of Imperfection) describes wholeheartedness as living and loving with our whole hearts and engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.

She also says that in order to play and rest we’ve got to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol.

Isn’t that so true! Society (and our egos) has really led us to believe that working to the point of exhaustion somehow increases our status and means that we are then worthy of taking a break.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how much time per week I dedicate to play and rest, and the answer is not enough…especially in the ‘play’ area.

My reasoning behind this is that I’m self-employed and building a new business so I don’t have as much time to dedicate to play…I’ve got to be working around the clock, right? Isn’t that what people who work for themselves and have ambition do? Isn’t that what working towards ‘success’ looks like?

My ego mind says…

I haven’t earned the right to play a lot. Not yet.

Not until my to do list is ticked off.

My blog post has been written.

My inbox is cleared.

I’ve got X amount of clients.

I’ve hit my markers for the week / month.

I’m totally exhausted by Friday!

What a load of hogwash that is!

I totally get the desire to work hard, especially when you have ambition and financial goals to work towards. I also get that a lot of us enjoy being busy as it gives us a sense of purpose which is important. But the feeling that we’re only worthy of taking a break and enjoying ourselves once we’ve worked our butts off, is where the cracks in this ideology of ‘working hard’ begin to show.

I tell you what, the Spanish have got it going on with their ‘siestas’! Let’s follow in their footsteps!

Defining Play…

Dr Stuart Brown who is a play researcher (yep!), defines play as…

Time spent without purpose. Something that you don’t want to end. You lose track of time. You lose that hyper sense of self-consciousness.

Hmmm, juicy. I love what each of these definitions represent. To sum it up in two words, I would say freedom and fun.

So now we’re clear on what play means, what does play look like to you?

Does it look like time spent at the beach, watching movies/tv, outdoor activities, reading, writing, painting, travelling, cooking, engaging in great conversations, exercising, wining & dining, singing in the shower, making love, shopping, getting a massage, playing with your kids, surfing the net, goofing around, weekend trips away, hanging with your besties, meditating?

Defining Rest…

Sleep debt is defined as having more than two consecutive nights with less than 7 hours sleep. A-ha. It would be fair to say that we’re a sleep deprived culture.

Resting is more than just making sure we get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Resting means not putting as much pressure on ourselves, taking time out when needed, and understanding that we can still work towards something but also engage in play and rest and living wholeheartedly.

The problem with our culture is that we view productivity as being a marker for self-worth. Isn’t that a little askew?

Brené Brown says that somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that if we stay busy enough, we’ll stay ahead of the truth behind us so it never catches up with us.

But when it does (and it will), the truth is that we’re exhausted, resentful, tired and not doing enough of the things we really want to be doing.

Let’s change that. Let’s pump up our self-worth and self-love muscles and begin taking care of ourselves more.

Let’s rest and play free from guilt and full of unencumbered JOY.

I know I will be. Gav and I are going bowling this weekend for some play time! And I’m not working past 6.30pm from now on.

What about you…what might you do to engage in more play and rest?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one…


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  1. says

    I’m an oddball in that I’ve developed the opposite problem. I’m so fearful of becoming one of those stressed out, burnt out, busy entrepreneurs that I hold myself back from exciting opportunities in case it leads to me being overwhelmed. I find reading these posts so helpful though because just as it would help a stressy entrepreneur it helps me reverse engineer how to find the great balance. Great post xx

    • says

      Thanks for your comment lovely Sophie. Mmm, I hear what you’re saying. It really is about finding balance – whatever that looks and feels like to you. Just be careful not to let that fear of yours hold you back. As long as you have some boundaries set in place, I’m sure you’ll be able to manage taking on some exciting projects 🙂

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