The Underestimated Power of Rest
By Nancy Zwiers
I had a pretty hard-charging career over 40 years, and I prided myself on my busy productivity. Unfortunately, my unwillingness to regularly rest translated into several periods of burnout that lasted months and in one case a full year or more.
In 2010, after a major setback, I brought a do-or-die mentality to my entrepreneurial work at Funosophy. I ultimately did literally confront death the following year in the form of breast cancer that I believe was induced by chronic toxic stress levels (my whole body was in pain from rampant inflammation at the time). While I am a proud cancer survivor, I self-diagnosed PTSD from that the intense experience. This experience jolted me into a new chapter as I starting focusing on “vital activities” that enliven versus deplete (see my Bloom Report article, Vital Activities Enliven https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vital-activities-enliven-youwhat-yours-nancy-zwiers )
More recently, as EVP/CMO of Spin Master, I temporarily forgot those important lessons and took my hard-charging nature to new heights. Working in the PT time zone for a company headquartered in the ET time zone meant that 6:00 am PT meetings were commonplace (although to my credit, I did draw the line and declined to participate in a weekly standing meeting at 5:00am PT). I hired a personal driver so I could work during my 80-minute commute each way, interfacing with my Toronto and European-based colleagues in the morning and catching up on emails in the evening. Monthly for over three years, I would take the red eye from LA to Toronto on Sunday night, hit the office by 9:00am on Monday, work into the evenings at my hotel, and arrive home late Friday night.
When I finally made the decision to retire, I was physically and emotionally spent. It took me a full year to recover.
Now that the go-go years of my career are behind me, I have the luxury of experiencing (and appreciating!) the value of rest. Thanks to one of my colleagues at CMO Coaches, Craig Coffey, I’ve since been exposed to the 7 types of rest that we all need to maintain our health and well-being. The list below is taken from a Ted Talk by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith (https://youtu.be/ZGNN4EPJzGk).
Take a look and see where you want to invest more time in rejuvenating rest:
Regarding this last type of rest, it seems particularly fitting for those of us in the play industry to make time for Creative rest. As I like to say, “recreation” really means “re-creation”— play renews our authentic selves so that we can be fully self-expressed and enlivened.
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