I read this article sometime last year ‘The Difference Between Bad Days and Rest days’. In it the author argues that rest days are for recharging and restoring when you are not ill, while bad days are time you have to rest because you have no choice. She suggests that rest days may help prevent bad days and should be scheduled regularly.
I was really taken with the idea. I didn’t really expect to reduce the number of bad days, because migraines cause my fatigue rather than the other way round. But I could see that incorporating rest days into my schedule would give me time to recuperate and keep me from pushing myself too hard.
However, I never actually go to round to scheduling them, apart from the odd occasion when I know I’ve got something planned that is really going to test my limits. Then I might plan to take the next day off. Despite not scheduling them I still find the concept a useful one. A rest day sounds nicer than a bad day. It encourages me to take better care of myself. To be more compassionate toward myself, and to feel more positively toward time spent ‘unproductively’.
I take rest days when I feel I need one. On days like today when I’ve struggled to get out of bed. Failed at my morning routine, and am struggling to write this now. I had something of a migraine yesterday. But for some reason instead of taking better care of myself than usual I abandoned my evening routine and then had a bad nights sleep followed by oversleeping this morning. Today I am suffering with migraine symptoms, vertigo and fatigue. This blog post and a 5 minute walk are the sum total of my achievements today and it’s mid-afternoon.
But that’s okay because at around 11.30 this morning, when I finally made it downstairs, today officially became a Rest Day. On a Rest Day all I need to do is the basic, essential self-care like the 5 minute walk. The rest of the time can be spent resting and lazing in whatever way suits me. Or I can writ a little or read a little if I fancy it. I still use my timer for pacing and tracking. This time resting counts as time usefully spent. And hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day because of it.