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Listening to Your Need for Rest

PEACE with Anxiety Podcast Episode 16

Ep 16: Listening to Your Need for Rest

Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty for resting? I certainly have. Last week, I took a break from publishing an episode, and it was a powerful reminder of why rest is essential. Join me as I share my experiences with the relentless drive for perfection and the transformative realization that sometimes the bravest thing we can do is listen to our need for rest. In this episode, we explore the importance of taking a break and listening to our need for rest. 


Listen as I talk about:

  • The importance of rest and self-care.

  • Acknowledging restlessness in high achievers.

  • Reconnecting with what makes you happy: the power of fun

  • Simple mindfulness exercise to help you recognise the need for a pause and what you can do about it.


Click play to listen below:



Embrace the Power of the Pause: Why Rest is Essential for High Achievers


Have you ever felt guilty for taking a break? You’re not alone. In our fast-paced world, it's easy to feel the pressure to always be productive, to constantly strive for perfection, and to see rest as something we need to apologize for. I recently experienced this firsthand when I took a break from publishing a podcast episode. That pause was a powerful reminder of how crucial it is to listen to our bodies and minds when they signal the need for rest.


The Necessity of Rest

Rest is often seen as a luxury, but it’s far from that. It’s a necessity for our mental and physical health. Resting helps us recharge, boosts our creativity, and enhances our overall well-being. Without adequate rest, our productivity and quality of work can suffer. Think of it like recharging your phone; you wouldn't wait until the battery is completely drained to plug it in. Similarly, we need to take proactive steps to rest before we reach a point of exhaustion. Rest is an act of self-respect. It’s about recognizing our limits and understanding that taking care of ourselves is crucial to maintaining our ability to perform and thrive in the long run. When we rest, we’re not being lazy or unproductive; we’re investing in our future success and well-being.


Recognizing Burnout in High Achievers

Burnout is a state of chronic stress that can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy. High achievers are particularly prone to burnout because we often push ourselves to meet high standards, work long hours, and strive for perfection. We may ignore the signs of burnout—constant fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation—thinking we can push through it with more effort. But burnout doesn’t work that way.

I’ve experienced burnout firsthand. There was a time when I was juggling multiple projects, trying to meet every deadline perfectly, and making sure everyone around me was happy. I ignored the signs of burnout until it became overwhelming. Recognizing burnout early and addressing it is crucial. This means prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and taking breaks when needed. Remember, burnout happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.

The Power of Play

When was the last time you did something just for fun? Engaging in activities that bring us joy and playfulness can rejuvenate our minds and spirits. For me, reconnecting with fun means spending time with my family, reading a good book, or exploring nature. These activities might seem simple, but they’re incredibly powerful. They help me feel more balanced and energized, reminding me of what truly matters.

Think about what activities bring you joy. Maybe it’s painting, gardening, dancing, or playing a sport. Whatever it is, make time for it. Play isn’t just for kids—it’s a vital part of our well-being. It helps us relax, reduces stress, and boosts our creativity. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude, and embracing it can transform your life.


Mindfulness Excercise to help you recognise the need for rest


Start by taking a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and slowly exhale.

Close your eyes and focus on what your body feels.

Are there any areas of tension?

What kind of thoughts are running through your mind?

Now take a moment to think about an activity that makes you feel really happy.

Picture yourself doing that. See yourself doing this fun activity.

How does it feel?

Finally, think about how you can introduce more of that activity into your life.


Use this simple exercise whenever you feel overwhelmed—it’s a great way to centre yourself and listen to what your body needs.


Need more anxiety support with listening to your need for rest?


Apply for a 30-minute FREE Anxiety Relief Call to explore working with me as a private client https://www.ireneevangeloutherapy.com/free-anxiety-relief-call


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Full Transcript


Hello everyone and welcome back to episode 16 of the PEACE with Anxiety Podcast, I have a quick episode for you today. I had a realisation recently when I had just finished a session with my client, and then I started thinking about all those non-client related tasks I had to do, planning for next week’s podcast, updating forms, changing my website, taking care of social media, marketing my private practice, and mind you it’s only me in my private practice, so it up to me to make sure everything runs smoothly. And it is fair to say that I have been managing everything well. But lately, I started to notice that I feel a bit more tired than usual, and I have been struggling to rest. I realised that I was starting to fall back into past habits of overworking, stretching myself thin, and thinking about work from the moment I woke up till the moment I closed my eyes. And I remember, that week in another session, the topic of rest came up, and we were discussing with my client how she was also struggling to look after herself, and we started making a plan for taking pauses throughout the day to help her rest and also challenging that belief that rest is not necessary. And I remember I told my client that it was okay to rest. And the moment I said it, I felt a sense of relief and I thought to myself that I should probably listen to my own words and my body’s signals for a pause. But it was interesting for me to see that this habit this tendency to ignore my body’s cues is still with me, and I felt that it was important to talk about it here in this podcast.


So, if you resonate with this podcast then I am willing to bet that you are a high-functioning, high-achiever, perfectionist, and you might also have difficulty setting boundaries, and all things that come with these things. And if that is the case then it is very likely that you are not giving yourself permission to rest, or if you try to rest, you feel guilty or ashamed for not doing something. And maybe if you’re like some of my clients or the past version of me, then maybe you’re also grinding your teeth more at night, you may have a stiff neck and tired eyes, or you may be saying things to yourself like, I will rest when.., when I get there when I have that, or I will know when it’s time, but you and I both know that, that when never comes, there is always something else that is going to need your attention. And it could be why you are unable to feel calm and you are always tired.


So I come here to tell you that the reason why I did not release an episode last week was because I was tired. I am not going to lie it wasn’t an easy choice, I felt guilty like I was letting you all down. And admitting that with you feels really intimidating, but I really felt exhausted both mentally and physically. And as I high-achiever myself that is something that I used to never admit to myself, and took years to be able to recognise when I am overdoing, and more importantly to give myself permission to pause and rest. So like I said i was very surprised when I realised that somehow I missed those signs and again I pushed myself too much, to silence that inner voice that was trying to tell me to stop. So I know that you have those days, and I wanted to be real with you and tell you that I have them too, and instead of coming down too hard on myself, or pushing my limits even more, I have a choice and I can choose to pause, to stop and to notice and that is exactly what I did.


So going back to my client, without getting into much detail, she was describing feelings of restlessness, overwhelm, and overthinking, she felt tired from the moment she would wake up, and she would immediately start working 10 minutes after waking up. She was saying that her anxiety was so high, and was really really tired. And in our session what came up for her was that she was not listening to her body. And what I mean by that is basically, inside of you there is a part of you that is screaming and asking you to stop but you keep ignoring or pushing it to the side, and you tell yourself that you do not have the time for that right now or that you do not deserve to rest, or that it is not that bad, I will sleep at night, but when night comes you either struggle to fall asleep or you wake up at night.


So, what if you listened to that inner voice, and you paused, and you did nothing?  


Rest is something we often overlook in our lives. We’re taught to keep pushing, to always be productive, to see rest as something we have to earn. Now there’s a lot of science behind this, but rest is crucial to our health, to our mental health and to our physical health. It helps improve our cognitive function, boosts our creativity, and even strengthens our immune system. When we don’t allow ourselves to rest, we’re actually harming our productivity in the long run. I used to think I had to be constantly on the go to be successful, but I’ve learned that listening to my need for rest is actually a form of self-respect. It’s saying to yourself, ‘I value myself enough to take care of my needs.’


So going back to my question, what if you paused for 5 minutes today? And now I want to ask you one more thing, when was the last time you did something just for fun? Something that made you laugh or filled you with a sense of excitement? As high achievers, we often forget how important fun is. We get so caught up in our responsibilities that we neglect the things that bring us joy. Maybe think about when you were a little girl, what were some things you did that brought you joy? Was it colouring, playing with toys, singing, or dancing, make a list and pick one thing that you would want to try again.


For me, fun means spending time with family and friends, reading a good book, or doing a thorough skincare routine. And taking care of yourself is about feeling good. For me, doing something for myself, whether it is doing a skincare routine, reading a book or being around family, is a form of self-care. It’s a way to slow down, connect with myself, and show myself some love. it’s a ritual that signals to my body and mind that it’s time to wind down and relax. A moment of calm in my day, a chance to pause and focus solely on myself. These activities might seem simple, but they’re incredibly powerful. They help me and they can help you as well, feel more balanced and energised. And they will remind you of what truly matters. I encourage you to think about what activities are fun for you. Maybe it’s painting, gardening, dancing, or playing a sport. Whatever it is, make time for it. Because fun and play aren’t just for kids—they’re a crucial part of our well-being. It helps us relax, reduces stress, and boosts our creativity and productivity. Fun is the simplest form of self-care and embracing it can transform your life.


Okay before we wrap up today's episode I want to suggest a little exercise for you to help you recognise the need for a pause and what you can do about it. So start by taking a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and slowly exhale. Close your eyes and focus on what your body feels. Are there any areas of tension? What kind of thoughts are running through your mind? Now take a moment to think about an activity that makes you feel really happy. And picture yourself doing that. See yourself doing this fun activity. How does it feel? And finally, think about how you can introduce more of that activity into your life. Because even small moments of fun and play can make a big difference. You can use this simple exercise, those simple questions, whenever you feel overwhelmed—it’s a great way to centre yourself and listen to what your body needs.


So, I hope this discussion has been helpful and that you feel empowered maybe to listen to your need for rest. And I want you to remember that taking a pause is an act of strength and self-respect. By listening to your body, acknowledging what you are feeling, and doing something fun, you can build resilience and reduce anxiety. So, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it with someone who might benefit from it. And don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review—it really helps others find the show. So, take care, be kind to yourselves, and I’ll see you next week.

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