The Importance of Rest

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Picture showing the founder of Atlas Provisions and maker of popped lotus seeds on an adventure
Paul Bunyan and me hamming it up.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that self-care is not my forte. In a world where our Instagram feeds are filled with a barrage of flower draped bathtubs, daily intentions, complicated lattes promising to sooth your every ailment and countless masks (for your hair, your feet and everywhere in between), I constantly feel like I am doing something wrong. Relaxation has become another “to-do” on a list that is long and check marks are few and far between.

I feel my self-care shortcomings especially now that the business is growing. While I am certainly not chilling in a bath filled with rose petals, I also have a hard time making time to cook healthy meals, work out, sleep enough and have some semblance of a social life. It feels impossible to justify an entire day off. The emails seem to build, orders go unshipped, production halts to a standstill. And in a resource-constrained environment like a startup, this simply feels untenable.

But what I am learning is that the only thing truly untenable is trying to live without a break.

I had the privilege this weekend to get away for a bit—and let us not forget that while rest is necessary, it really is still a privilege that not everyone gets—and for the first time in awhile, I feel capable of seeing the forest for the trees.

Rather than packing boxes and answering emails, I spent my days chasing my partner down sun-dappled trails in the forest, lying on the couch reading (FOR FUN), laughing, cooking meals and ending nights with s’more sticky fingers. I didn’t set an alarm clock. I didn’t answer phone calls and while I admittedly did sneak in a few emails here and there, for the first time in a long-time, I let myself be off the clock.

As soon as I removed myself from my day to day, I wondered why I didn’t do it sooner. I spent some time reflecting on what needed to be done and I recognized shortcuts that my tired brain couldn’t otherwise see. I felt creative. I feel inspired. I felt energized. And though I was away, the world did not end. The business did not fail and in my absence, absolutely nothing bad took place.

Do I have a little extra work to do? Yes. Do I think I will get it done more efficiently? Also yes. Will I go away again? Yes. And will I worry that the sky will fall and the world will end next time? Probably, yes.

If you’re not able to give yourself permission to take a break, I am giving it to you. If you can’t see that you need a break, I am telling you do. If you think you can’t make time, I am telling you can. You don’t need to spend any money. It doesn’t need to look or be luxurious. It could be making your favorite meal, going to bed early, sleeping in late, washing your hair or staring at the wall. If it makes you happy, do it. If it makes you feel peaceful, do it. You have enough time. I absolutely promise you.

With love & wanderlust,
Sarah

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