4 Practical ways for Women to Recover from Everyday Life Exhaustion.

Via Emma Derman Teitel
on Apr 14, 2015
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The radical notion of rest—why it is vitally important that we do it.

Too exhausted to think, too overwhelmed to respond, too fast, too full, too much, not enough, it’s a lot.

These are the words I hear almost everyday, from the voices of the women I sit with.

So, what is it that has us exhausted, depleted, un-inspired and desperate for the next best thing to make us feel better, more alive, more inspired?

It is a deep rejection of rest.

Choosing rest is choosing to take a radical stand for the feminine.

We will get very little validation or high-fives for lying in bed all day, sitting in the grass and watching it grow or closing our eyes in the middle of the afternoon. Few will celebrate our silence or our, “I don’t know what’s next-ness.” And it is rare to receive recognition as we float in the ocean of vast mystery.

When we choose rest, it is easy to feel unworthy.

In stillness, it is easy to question our value. It may look as if absolutely nothing is happening. And yet in the absence of doing, we will be faced with the greatest task of all—befriending and trusting our own exquisite nature. That which cannot be spoken, that which cannot be done, that which can only be felt from the inside out.

When we choose rest, we are choosing to restore what is broken. We are mending the tapestry of life that has become painfully undone with the demand of modern life.

To rest is a radical act of dissent from the collective devotion to speed—it is to claim a space of inner freedom.

When we resist rest we once again degrade the feminine. It is to abuse her, to ignore her, to call her names and to strip her of her value. It is to delude ourselves into thinking that if we do enough, eventually we will be worthy.

And yet, when we honor rest, we are taking a powerful stance for the return of the feminine in one of her most glorious forms.

Sure, there are the necessary planetary shakes going on as women rise up from all corners of the earth, changing politics, starting businesses, raising families, traveling, falling in love and everything in between. And yet, for these contributions and creations to experience sustainability, we must also rest.

Four practical ways to make space for rest. 

1. Give yourself a 24-hour break from talking.

With so much collective wounding in women—around holding back, not taking up enough space or playing small there, is an insurgence of self-expression occurring for many of us, myself included! We live in a day and age where there are infinite platforms and channels through which to write, speak, make videos and share our thoughts, feelings and experiences.

This is beautiful and I am in full support, yet no woman is designed to produce indefinitely.

Many spiritual traditions, including yoga, honor and recognize the important role of silence for preserving creativity, increasing consciousness and restoring balance.

Commit to a 24-hour period without talking.

Depending on your work situation and/or if you are a parent, it may definitely require a bit of extra planning or you many only get a few hours, but either way, take the time, you will be amazed at what you find in the silence.

2. Take a full day off and spend it being.

So often, when we have a vacation or a break from work, the mind immediately starts crafting up brilliant plans for places we want to travel, things we want to get done, people we want to see and personal projects to knock of the to-do list.

While this is all wonderful and important, it keeps our bodies and our minds in a state of perpetual doing.

Operating at this pace keeps the softer, subtler and more intuitive parts of our awareness at bay and ultimately this limits our overall capacity as human beings.

Being is the key word here.

How can you set yourself up for being?

Perhaps it is sitting outside on the grass as you savor a delicious meal and watching the birds, or maybe it is lying down in bed and watching the trees outside the window. Whatever it is, I invite you to do less and to pay close attention to what emerges in your mind, body and soul.

3. Give yourself a tech detox.

I will be one of the first to raise my hand with gratitude, appreciation and love for my technology.

And yet, too much tech can quickly tip any woman over the edge. There are an infinite number of apps, ideas, articles, websites and inspirations to plug into, yet constantly turning our attention outwards means that we are missing an entire universe of experience within ourselves.

The inner world is our most fertile soil. It is from here where all original insight arises. So, give yourself the gift of turning off the cell phone, closing the computer and attuning to your inner world. You will be amazed at the colorful and complex world that is waiting for you.

4. Notice the spaces between.

Commit to noticing the pauses before the actions for an entire day. Feel the gap before the key unlocks the door or starts the car. Feel the space before food enters your mouth or the stillness before your finger hits the computer key.

We go through thousands of tiny transitions each day, see if you can be more conscious of what is happening before each new action.

The symphony of life can easily create the illusion that something is only happening when the tempo is fast and the beats are audible. And yet, there would be no symphony without the silence, there would be no beauty to the sound without the gaps in between.

From the ripe and pregnant pause is the very origin point of life itself. From emptiness emerges form, from stillness arises inspiration and from the void brilliance ascends.

Unplug the phone, close the laptop, walk outside or find your way to the bed.

Rest dear woman, your soul will thank you.



Warning! Don’t watch this video if you don’t want to be inspired:

The United States & Cuba are Back in Love.


Author: Emma Derman Teitel

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr


About Emma Derman Teitel

Emma Derman Teitel is a practicing Psychotherapist and Coach, the co-founder of Boulder Psychotherapy Services and a leader in female empowerment. She specializes in depth and body-centered approaches to healing and has been serving women and girls in the field of holistic women’s wellness for over 10 years.

Click here to learn more about Emma and her upcoming live webinar on How To Deal With What You Feel.


19 Responses to “4 Practical ways for Women to Recover from Everyday Life Exhaustion.”

  1. Ellen says:

    Thank you Emma! Amazing how we need this encouragement around something so essential! And yes its become quite hard to do, so thank you, for the simple and profound awareness here.

  2. Kelly says:

    Amazing. Amen!

  3. Taylor says:

    im a man and this is still great advice.

  4. Emma says:

    Ellen, thank you so much for your reflections. Yes, I agree that it has become quite hard to honor and value rest. I am in a daily inquiry around these questions and frequently needing to re-evaluate my choices and patterns in everyday life. I so appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. Wishing you grace and ease as you find your own intuitive way with rest. Warmly, Emma

  5. Emma says:

    Thanks Kelly! Sending you many well wishes 🙂 Warmly, Emma

  6. Emma says:

    Hi Taylor. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know this. I so appreciate the male perspective, as most of my work revolves around women, but I love hearing about how men are impacted by modern life and the need for rest. I welcome any other thoughts/reflections you have a feel like sharing. Warmly, Emma

  7. Amy says:

    I am shamed for some of these practices. It is not comparable to real pain and suffering, but it is devastating to hear your lifestyle choices (when they do nothing to harm yourself or others) are unacceptable.

    What i enjoy doing is tainted by the fact that i actually feel ashamed of myself when i am making an attempt to make myself happy. Thanks for this.

  8. Emma says:

    Hi Amy, Thanks so much for sharing this and for bringing up the subject of shame. I totally hear you and it is very painful to feel unsupported or even judged when we make choices to take care of ourselves and others don't understand or even criticize. I wish you all the best in staying true to yourself and unraveling the layers of shame that you carry in relationship to caring for yourself. Warmly, Emma

  9. morgancnicholswriter says:

    I absolutely love this! Thank you. Especially appreciate the reminder to notice the pauses in between, the silence that gives structure to everything.

  10. Emma says:

    Morgan, thank you so much for your feedback, it means so much to me. Ahh…yes…the pauses, they are so important and available to us in every moment. Even right n. o. w. as I type this response to you 🙂 Many blessings to you! Warmly, Emma

  11. Camila says:

    Hi Emma,

    This post really resonated with me (especially in contrast with the many poorly written and unoriginal articles online these days). I am just breaking into the field of psychology (got my undergrad degree a year and a half ago and have since been working in the autism field) and I am super interested to learn more about what you do. I am still looking for a long-term career direction and just thought I would reach out, on the off chance that you might have the time and/or desire to offer any advice or information. Thank you either way, and I hope you are having a great day!


    Camila Alaasam
    [email protected]

  12. Emma says:

    Hi Camila,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback and comments, I appreciate it. I am so glad to know that this article resonated with you and to hear that you are interested in the field of psychology, it is a wonderful and rich area of study. I am happy to connect with you around your professional career direction and to see how I may be of support, please email me: [email protected] and we can find a time to connect. Warmly, Emma

  13. L.J. says:

    "A deep rejection of rest." Silly me, I thought I wanted nothing more than to rest, what with having two jobs and student loans to pay off, and the constant stress of being a paycheque away from being homeless. Women of my generation (I'm 37) are more saddled with debt, are more likely to be concentrated in part-time jobs, than ever before (thanks, neoliberalism!). This article is insensitive to the needs of low-income people who would LOVE to be able to take a tech detox or go 24 hours without speaking.

  14. YaseminDunya says:

    Thank you for this article. This was really something I needed nowadays. I already accepted that I need to rest, but it's a good and warm feeling to read this. I felt as if a close friend is by my side, even if I am alone. Thanks again. Love from Turkey, Ankara.

  15. Michelle says:

    I think I needed this reminder today… too often I feel guilty for taking some time to just rest. I think of all the things I need to do, could do or want to do… and it's hard. I need to devote an afternoon to me and feel good again.

  16. Meg W says:

    Hi LJ, I'm not going to assume that I can understand all your circumstances from a short post, but I hear your pain here and I wanted to say that I resonates with where I was in my early 30s. I was wrangling multiple jobs (for me, contracts, so no job security); student loans; stressful housing since at that time, for about 1.5 yrs, finances kept me in a shared apt. with a thoughtless roomie; way way too many hours on the metro to commute between jobs (this was in Montreal). It's taken a lot of time (I'm past 45 now) to get to a place where I can breathe easy about what's in the bank.
    What surprised me then and still does now is that very, very small chunks of time can feel, internally, like large, restorative spaces. I would sit on the back fire escape, set my timer for 10 minutes, and see if I could sit there that long without giving in to the urge to get up and do something. Usually it would clear my mind and I would be ready to move on by 10 min; occasionally I would sit there for another 5 min. And usually something interesting would happen in the alley (you know, cats adventuring or some kid trying to learn to ride their bike with no hands, etc).
    Of course since we're strangers that might sound irrelevant to you, but in case it sounds like something worth trying, I thought I'd share that. Low-income living is hard, and as I'm sure you know, there are lots of voices fighting to raise minimum raise, reduce college/uni fees, and so on. Man the road can seem long. I hope you are able to get into a stable job situation very soon.

  17. Melina says:

    Thanks. I appreciate this.

  18. Mitchell says:

    I know this is directed at women, but the feminine half of me is in some serious need of balancing, yet I keep looking to act outward to regain motivation. I want to take action on certain areas of my life, but am lacking the emotional motivation, and don't want to keep acting without my will. This piece helps me value the inner work necessary to re-align, and the tips are tremendously empowering. Thank you!

  19. Scarlett says:

    Thank you! This is so true and so relevant right now, for me and for all of us. Constant reminders of this are welcome and I’ll be doing my part to keep this in practice (starting today!!) and feeding the positive outcomes into our collective consciousness. Maybe some amazing retreats will come out of that consciousness as a result. Planting a seed!