Babies are truth tellers. When they are happy, they wiggle, giggle and drool. When they are frustrated, they whine, throw things and make faces. It is very clear what a baby is thinking and feeling. You may not always know why (case in point, Riley's been whining for two days now and I've been so frustrated that I couldn't figure out why until just now I discovered a monster molar breaking through... sorry baby!) but they make their emotions known. It's Crystal Clear.
Same is true for a tired baby. Tired babies yawn, rub their eyes, stumble when walking and get cranky. Most parents I know respond as quickly as they can to a tired baby and let the baby sleep in a crib, carseat or sling. We don't force the child to stay awake or to play more or to push through their experience. As soon as the baby signals they are tired, they usually get put to bed. Then, when baby wakes up from their nap, they're ready to go!
Take time to rest when they are tired. What a novel concept!
And adults don't do this ... why?
Most grown ups I know are really, really tired. Entrepreneurs. Working Professionals. Caring for Children. Caring for Parents. Real Sandwich Generation Issues. Community Volunteers. Graduate Students. Home Owners. Pet Lovers. They are burning the candle at both ends and their idea of "rest" is zoning out to TV late at night or sitting on the bleachers watching their kid in a sporting event.
What are the benefits that come from pushing through the pain and ignoring the body's request for rest and renewal? Hmmm... let's see... inefficiency, lack of focus, disorganization... and oh yeah, poor health. Yay! Sign me up! <Not!>
You know the phrase Work Hard, Play Hard? I think we should amend it to Work Well, Play Well, Rest Well! Seriously! If we spent 1/3 of our lives working, 1/3 playing and 1/3 resting, the world would be a much happier place! It's one of the primary reasons that I lead retreats.
To teach people how to slow down. How to say no to external demands and how to say yes to their inner voice that is asking, begging, pleading for nurturing, love, acceptance and R-E-S-T.
Do you do this? If not, why not?
Tomorrow, I'll be teaming up with Geralyn Russell and Gay Webster-Sachs for a one day women's retreat, Adventures in Self Discovery. If you can't join us but are still interested in learning how to take better care of yourself, perhaps take a peek at my new blog post over at Capital Regional Medical Center's Daily Waddle. It's a post that offers some self care questions for moms and moms-to-be but of course anyone can benefit from some self-care, self-love and self-acceptance, can't they?
Listen to the babies. They are oh so wise. They are in synch with their bodies and with the rhythm of life. We have much to learn from them. (Thank you, sweet Riley... I think I'll go take a nap now!)
Wishing you a weekend filled with rest, rest and more rest.