The Importance of Rest
The idea of all-nighters lingers for a lot of creative people who work a day job. Your passion project is fit into the hours you can carve out and a lot of that time happens at night or early in the morning. When you’re passionate about your work and driven to reach your goals, it’s easy to forgo sleep in the pursuit of writing.
For a while I definitely did this. I would stay up until 11 or 12 working on projects then get up at 4 or 5 to write before I went to my day job. Because I have a hard time sleeping anyways, I was getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep a night for years.
Eventually it all caught up to me and I really think that lack of sleep was part of my big breakdown a few years ago. That moment of losing my ability to even think really made me step back and rest. I couldn’t think of ideas to write so I went to bed early. I slept so much that year.
Now that I am back upright and building my path as a creative once again, I’m presented again with the question of how important is sleep versus working on my novels?
For me, sleep has become priority number 1. I try to go to bed and get up at the same times roughly every day. I take naps when I am struggling to keep my eyes open. I take care of my physical needs when I am exhausted.
But something that is easy to forget is that even if you are going to bed at reasonable times and sleeping, are you actually resting? What I mean is do you take a break from working? Do you go out and have fun with friends? Watch a TV show you like, read a book just for fun? Are you allowing your brain breaks besides just when your eyes are closed?
It’s so easy to get sucked into the hustle all the time, no breaks, mentality but it’s important to understand that your brain deserves breaks too. If you work all the time you are wearing your ability to think down. You are emptying out that creative well without giving it a chance to refill.
So this week, try to give yourself even just 30 minutes of doing nothing or doing something just for fun. Give yourself a chance to rest.