The pressure to rest well.

The older I grew, the more estranged mornings are to me.

We are bestowed with another three-day weekend, but I feel that I’ve wasted it by sleeping in my mornings. The ever-increasing anxiety from the pandemic and my current line of work which demands keeping up to date with the nation makes an extra free day more precious, if not luxurious. Unfortunately, my sleep cycle has fucked me up so bad that it would only fall deep in a slumber at 3AM and skip mornings altogether.

This fear of wasting a good day of resting by doing something that is, on hindsight, physically resting, haunts me. The guilt is even worse now that I am permanently glued to the same table, merging work and personal life in the same room. The only transition I have is by changing my laptop, but that is a transition too short to separate two worlds.

Maybe you have a hard time disengaging from work at the end of the day and therefore can’t relax. Maybe when you try to take a short break, time gets away from you because you get sucked into a social media vortex. Maybe you never get any work done until noon because you always plop down in front of your computer before you actually feel awake.

Ironically, I feel the immense pressure to rest well on the 63rd Independence Day of my country. While everyone else are showing off their pride and their wishes, gallivanting through the hidden nooks of the country, parading their love for what’s left, I was desperately trying to wind down with a bad leg after a long day out. But of course, here comes the FOMO – I feel pressured for not spending (!) the day as well as I should.

Time is constantly ahead of me, leaving me bread crumbs of guilt for not doing the self-care that I want to do. This article, directed to those who suck at relaxing, pointed out my mistake: I mistook numbscrolling and disjointed social interactions as a method of resting. I am very much aware of this. I’ve failed my social media detox so many times, mainly because I am knee-deep in a fandom that is constantly whirring on daily, if not hourly, updates. My socializing method has shrunk to short-sighted twitter replies, DMs, disappearing chat rooms and sarcastic yet impersonal emojis. There is a nagging need to respond as quick as possible and affirm another person’s needs while refusing any conflict. I want to appear witty in every single tweet. I want to be constantly likeable, and yet still have the freedom to say my unpopular opinions without getting jumped on by irrational stans!

But that’s not enough. I need to be more intentional with my rest. And it does not mean that I have to literally spend it with materialistic gains – I need to rest well by truly allowing myself the hour to be me, but also allow the rest to morph into different forms. I admit that due to work limiting my time to myself, I have attributed resting or free days mainly for going out. And for someone who rarely works out? It’s tiring.

What makes it so pressuring to rest well is the looming anguish of not doing anything creative during the given non-capitalistic hours. I know that deep inside, I just want to write, read and draw. I have all these plans jotted down repeatedly in my journal but I never acted on it. Just like how it took me months to kickstart this blog again. I admit that my discipline comes in short but unsustainable bursts. I resorted to short-termed, self-soothing, numbing distractions. Often this corners my night into its blind spot, trying to fill in the late after midnight hours with my will to do something worthwhile, when it should be reserved for sleeping. This is my fatal flaw.

The actual self-care that I want to do is to actually play around in my chosen creative outlets, and see where it will lead me. I don’t want to wake up from a rest feeling like I am about to step into a nightmare of guilt – I want to wake up feeling like I can continue seizing the day.

 

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