The Difficulty of Rest: Addendum

So trying to not push myself today was really difficult. I’ve ended up doing a decent amount of housework and little things I’ve been meaning to take care of just to deal with the feeling of “oh god I’m so lazy” for just trying to relax for a day.

Most of the time I’m not being productive isn’t relaxtion, it’s anxiety-procrastination where I have trouble getting started on something because I’m convinced it’s going to go horribly or it’s exhaustion where I’m staring at my emacs buffer trying to will ideas or words or code to spring forth and the stubborn things refuse, instead staying firmly hidden in unswept brain-corners. Actually trying to stop and think “I can do what I want today” immediately leads to “but I don’t actually know what I want!”. The question “what do I want?” doesn’t even feel answerable.

The process of actually making myself rest is a cycle of periods of calmness and moments of overwhelming guilt and dread that I’m doing something wrong. Whenever the dread starts I have to stop and remind myself that “no, really Clarissa, you don’t have anything that you need to be doing right now. Everything is actually okay.” Over and over I have to give myself that reassurance.

As it turns out, though, I really did need to work a little bit on technical things today or else I was going to drive myself up the wall. I figured that it was probably more “restful” to work a little bit and feel better than to spend the entire day fighting myself over and over again.

So, that’s my issues with motivation and rest, but I’d love to hear if any of this sounds familiar to others and if it does how other people actually deal with it.


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