“There’s always sadness in our lives. It’s that sad feeling that keeps us going.”

— Tsukino Usagi


Rest Makes For The Most Productive Artists

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


If we're not always on, we're going to fall behind. There's this belief that if we're not going at 200% at all times, seven days a week, that we're going to lose. Someone else is going to take our place in line. And then the doors will close and we won't be able to...


Okay. Calm down, my dude.


I know those voices in your head. Everything is moving fast and we think we have to always keep up. These thoughts are actually valid. We do move fast, as a society. Culture feels like it's a fleeting thing in the 21st century. How many opportunities have we missed because we slept on something?


And yet, here you are. Alive and kicking. 


There are toxic ideologies crawling into our minds and seeping into our habits. This especially holds true for artists. We idolize the concept of the hustle and the grind. We obsess with the idea of "no sleep til..." We boast about how many cups of coffee we've had. The reality is that we're not built for that. And there needs to be more conversations about self-care.

I'm not always on. Some days I need to just adult. During those days, I complain or worry a lot about how lethargic I feel. Lethargy is a vicious cycle, too: the less you do, the more lethargic you feel, which can lead to more problems. Anxiety, depression, physical inactivity, overeating, illness, and just losing all the momentum you spent building up. It's a tough battle to fight, and an even harder one to win. 


In the end, you're fighting against yourself. 


It's important to give yourself the day off, and to respect it when the feeling comes that you just can't adult. You're body needs to rest, and we need to listen to what it's telling us. In this post-modern era, we worship the idea of work and accomplishment and goals. We're often resistant when someone else tells us that "you should take a day off." We think that if we stop, even for a few hours, that we're going to miss something. What we are missing is what might happen when we do rest. 


Lauren Fabrizio, a Creative Arts Therapist, talked about the "Eureka" moment when discussing productivity, recovery, and happiness in an article for Recovery Warriors


"Most are familiar with the Eureka effect. Eureka! is an exclamation attributed to Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes who was trying desperately to solve a problem. Finally, when he gave up and was resting in a bathtub, the solution popped into his mind seemingly out of nowhere! The hard work he had done was not for naught but he had needed the period of rest for his brain to integrate the information, therefore allowing a solution to rise to the surface of his mind."


The moral of the story is that it's not the end of the world if you can't muster up the strength to satisfy the day's goals every once in a while. Treat your mind and your body with kindness, and it will reward you, and you'll find yourself accomplishing more in the long run. 




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Kyle V. Hiller is a freelance editor, published author. To inquire about his editing services, visit the services page. To read his work, check out The Recital and Project Anjou If you're just hanging out, subscribe to his newsletter below, where you'll get posts like this delivered straight to your inbox! Stalk Kyle on Twitter and Instagram, too.

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