“How beautiful it is do nothing, and then rest afterward.”
– Spanish proverb
Let me ask you something.
How are your energy levels? Are you full of vim and vigor, or are you dreaming of an afternoon nap?
I’ll explain why I ask.
I use the email service Mailchimp to send out emails. I like the Chimp because it tracks useful data for me, such as how many people actually open the emails I send.
I imagine that most people determine if they want to read a particular email by its title. Does the title grab their attention? Does it pertain to something they’re struggling with right now?
Last September, I sent out a newsletter to my list titled, “3 Big Announcements,” and it had far and away my all time highest open rate.
My theory was that they were all wondering if I was pregnant. And alas I was not.
So I thought I’d try using that successful title again to see if I could get pique my subscriber’s curiosity.
Well…my one big announcement is indeed that I’m pregnant!
In August, my husband and I will welcome a new pup to our pack.
Although my husband brought with him to our marriage two amazing, loving, incredible cherubs who I adore, this is my first pregnancy. So I’m experiencing a new world of change…to include first trimester fatigue.
Every pregnancy is experienced differently, but I have yet to talk to a woman who birthed a child who didn’t feel heightened levels of fatigue in her weeks of pregnancy.
I’ve been kindly reminded by my mama friends that the fatigue doesn’t stop at 14 weeks, and there’s a whole world of fatigue in store in the months (and years) ahead. But for now, I’ll focus on what I know: My energy levels dropped enormously soon after I learned I was pregnant.
To be honest, that was tough on me.
I’m a high energy person who prides herself on accomplishing long to do lists every day.
I’m transitioning to coaching full-time, and there’s so much to do. I’m launching a new program, starting a new women’s group in Brussels, conducting a new interview series, working on an e-book, thinking of new innovative ways to market, and so on and so on.
But I was so exhausted.
I thought if I took a nap, I could eek out a bit more energy. Or if I slept more at night, I could tackle my to do list with vigor.
None of that worked.
I was tired, and my body wanted this strange thing…rest.
At first, I was reluctant to give my body what it wanted. Too much rest had always made me feel lazy and unproductive.
Then, I started reading more about ancient tribal practices for pregnant mothers and birthing. As usual, I found that the old ways are wiser than the new.
In most ancient traditions, pregnant mothers were expected to focus on one thing and one thing only: bringing a new life into the world. As such, the tribe would tend to the mama-to-be’s needs to ensure she was getting ample amounts of rest.
Celebrations were also held in the new mom’s honor. The Navajo Indians, for example, held a ceremony called a “Blessing Way” to celebrate a woman’s rite of passage to motherhood and honor the divine feminine as a nurturer.
In our Western go-go-go culture, women (and men) are expected to always be moving…no matter where you are.Even if we know our body needs rest, and we have a strong desire to stop, our mind may respond with: “You’re lazy. Get off the couch. There is work to be done. What would others think if they saw you lying around?”You don’t have to be pregnant to feel this pressure.
We all go through periods of time where we feel more tired than normal. Sometimes it’s because you’re physically not feeling well, but sometimes it’s simply because you’re tired, and your body is asking you to slow down.
In the past few weeks, my energy has returned, as I understand is normal in the second trimester. But either way, I made the decision that if I need to rest I will rest.
I will celebrate my passage to motherhood by being kind and gentle on myself and resting when I need it.
Today, I’m not giving you a secret formula or a 7-step program, I’m simply asking you to give yourself guilt-free permission to rest when you need it. This message goes to men and women, pregnant and not.
I challenge you to rest when your body feels tired.
Take a personal day from work even if you’re not sick.
Take a nap.
Put your feet up.
Read a book.
Sleep more hours in the night.
Take a restful vacation.
Do an activity that fills you with energy.
Acknowledge any voices in your head saying there’s work to be done, and let them float away like a cloud.
Your body is a sophisticated being that always knows what’s best for you. Listen to its queues with love and attention.
The bottom line: rest when you need it.
I’d love to hear from you. How are you energy levels right now? Post a comment below. And if you liked this post, I’d be grateful if you shared it with a few mates.