Rewind to just a few weeks ago: the holidays. The ones that now somehow feel like they were months ago. Toward the end of December and right into January, the two of us were taking it pretttttty easy -- perhaps a bit more than planned. We each went somewhat silent between Christmas and the New Year -- only taking care of the absolute essential and popping in with members for quick catch ups -- and once the first Monday of January hit, we made a mutual, deliberate decision to ease back in.
It was great. In ways that planned rest never really can, this unanticipated time didn’t cause any stress beforehand. And though we both knew that we had big plans for 2016, we also knew that speeding back in full hog wasn’t going to help our cause. So, we reveled in it.
Jump forward -- just a bit -- to a few days later: Sara is scrolling through Instagram and notices a popular blog that’s shared a quote that they attributed to Oscar de la Renta (though the source is debated):
“When you rest, you rust.”
The comments blew up. Expecting to see staunch disagreements with the quote, and affirmations that rest is actually crucial for, well, everything, instead the majority of comments agreed with the quote:
“My new saying.”
“Too true. Keep kicking it.”
“Sleep when you’re dead.”
“That’s a fact.”
“That’s why we always on that grind.” (money emoji)
Cue the (appalled) response.
“Without rest, you will wear yourself out long before rust can settle in.” - thepinkbookworm
“That really makes me quite sad...the magic doesn't happen if you're in non-stop hustle mode. The adage about the oxygen mask on the plane is terribly overused, but for a reason...you have to take care of you. If you constantly expend your energy, eventually you will run out of it. UGH!” - Amanda Sue, Cheeky Visionaries
“That is NUTS! I value my sleep, thanks very much. Give me my 9 hours or go home. Resting is an important part of staying healthy!” - Ashley, Nose Graze
“Rest is totally crucial -- but too little motion causes stagnation. It's a balance between both for optimum well-being!” - Helen, The Tranquil Path
“We all need a break from business sometimes. Family (& clients) will thank you for it.” - Alliance Virtual
"I 100% call bullshit on this quote. Unless it's referring to exercise and then it's totally on.” - Morgan Haines, A Little Creative
"Rest is best!” - Maria Carras, Carras Creative
Yep, we love our community. Have we said that enough? (And not just because they agree with us on this…)
Why rest really matters
Now don’t get us wrong -- we do believe there are things you can, and perhaps even should do perpetually, like learning. We also agree that it’s important to find a balance between work and play, much like Helen calls out above.
But when it comes to running a business, one thing is for certain: Rest is essential. Whether it’s a 5-minute meditation break in between 90-minute work sessions, an afternoon reading session (trashy fiction counts!), or a full few days completely unplugged, we firmly believe that building periods of rest into your days, weeks, and months is a non-negotiable in this solopreneur life.
Your clients will thank you for it. Your family will thank you for it. You will thank you for it. (Is that English?) You get our point.
Burning the candle at both ends is not a sustainable path to success. And we want to see you as the successful solopreneur you’re meant to be.
The conversation doesn’t end here! Do you agree or disagree -- and what do you do to recharge your batteries and be at your best?
Want more tips + tactics for maintaining your solopreneur sanity? We've got you covered. Just released: The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook, inspiration and action for finding the intersection of productive and sane to maximize your time working so you can maximize your time living. Ready, set, sanity!