Knowing when it’s time to slow down and rest vs when it’s time to pull up the bootstraps and push through is not a skill that comes easily to most of us. It’s something I see occurring both in and out of the Pilates studio...
Some people have a tendency to overwork themselves, rush, take on too much and then become frustrated by pain and exhaustion. Other people tend to look for the easy way out and are unwilling to endure enough discomfort to meet their goals. Some of us swing from one end of the spectrum to the other...pushing until we burnout in one area while we reserve ourselves from important growth in other areas. Finding that sweet spot is often hard to see when we’re caught inside in our own habits.
Here are 4 tips to help get clarity on rest vs push:
1- Clarify your priorities. When you’re able to get really honest about priorities then it is a LOT easier to determine if it’s time to rest or push in certain arenas of your life.
2- Make your priorities trackable. We tend to over/underestimate how much we are really devoting to our priorities. Checking-in with a journal or calendar is a great place to get a reality check about where you’ve actually been spending your time and energy. If you say something is important to you, it needs to be reflected in your schedule.
3- Get a second opinion. Even the most self-aware people can get stuck in routine making it hard to objectively see life’s imbalances. Feedback from a respected friend or family member is a great way to get a different perspective if you suspect your values might be out of alignment with your actions.
4- Hire a pro. If you’re already clear about your priorities but still need the accountability to commit and follow through, it might be time to hire help. A teacher, coach, or even an assistant can push you where you’ve been slacking, and/or help you lighten the load where you’re burning out. Pilates teachers are good at this ;)
Understand that the need to rest or push is ever changing, and our priorities will naturally shift. Where we needed to pick up the pace in our life a few months ago might be the same place we need to slow down today, and where it made sense to take a pause on something over the weekend might also require us to buck-up and endure a bit of discomfort Mon-Fri. Making a habit of frequently checking-in with priorities is always a good idea, and having the willingness to learn from mistakes and ask for help when needed goes a really long way.