It seems like everyone is experiencing the February Dip. The busyness and motivation of the New Year is done. The holidays are no longer an excuse for feeling drained, the weather is unpleasant, and February is a weird, short month where people try not to plan too much. Most people I interact with are tired, a little depressed (or a lot), and are generally feeling out of sorts – it’s what I have dubbed “the February Dip.” Some people, especially those with HIQ, are trying to deal with this by DOING MORE. Some are trying to make up for not getting as much as they wanted to get done in January. Some are thinking that if they just “keep busy” the malaise will pass. They’re pushing harder and harder and somehow, it isn’t working.
It isn’t working because we forget how important it is to take The Rest. We forget how important moments of silence, stillness, and calm are. We forget to take the time to just BE, and that this is more vital to mental health than getting things done; it is also vital TO getting things done. Over the course of January, I blogged about how one can stay meaningfully engaged, rather than busy, and one way to do this is to plan mindfulness and rest.
Musicians understand this. Think about your favorite song. There are moments of silence, sometimes just a breath, but there is a moment of rest. In classical music, this is more evident. The silence punctuates the sound. The quiet allow the sounds to have greater meaning. And this is true in our daily lives. We can’t really enjoy the meaning and value of our productivity if we don’t have some time for reflection.
No matter what you are trying to get done this year, what goals and dreams you are working to achieve, take time to rest. Give yourself moments of silence, quiet meditation, and just sitting allowing yourself to be unoccupied – allow the quiet in for a bit. And notice what comes up and if its harder than you expected (or exactly as hard as you expected!) and then sit a bit longer. It gets easier to relax and, eventually, you will notice how those short, mindful breaks give you back even more time than you spent in The Rest over the course of the days and weeks.
Sound unlikely? The Buddhists teach you should meditate everyday for 20 minutes and if you don’t have time for that, meditate for an hour.
Let me know how you find The Rest each day or if that sounds impossible.