Sometimes Tim and I dreamily reminisce about the best naps we’ve ever taken. We tick off a list of his family’s cabin in remote Michigan (the perfect couch nap), the pregnancy naps I took on our babymoon in Nepal, the breezy naps in a teak hut in the Thai jungles, crickets and roosters keeping us company. But my favorite nap I’ve ever taken came after our first Moveable Feast– we’d run ourselves ragged for 9 days in France, pulled a well-over-100-hour week, and had proven to ourselves that we could really do this new business. We flew straight to Mexico to scout for the next year’s Feast, checked into our favorite hotel, and immediately fell into one of the deepest, soundest sleeps I’ve ever experienced. Deep exhaustion, deep comfort, and the deep happiness of completing a task that felt bigger than anything we had ever done.
That feeling of a job well done is one of my favorite ways to head into a nap, but these days it is freaking IMPOSSIBLE to know what a job well done even looks or feels like.
Let me encourage you: if you can, nap anyway.
That deep tiredness that you’ve been feeling? It’s not just work stress (or, in other cases, stress about lack of work), it’s not just caring for your children, it’s not boredom from being cooped up for 23.95 hours a day (minus the 5 minutes of sticking your head out of a window just to pretend like you exist in the outside world and everything is fine and normal). IT’S GRIEF.
We’re grieving collectively and individually in a hundred different ways. We’re grieving the world that once was, grieving the things we didn’t get done, the opportunities that have closed their doors on us. We’re social animals and grieving being physically near one another. We’re grieving jobs and lives lost, even if no one close to us loses theirs. Maybe you’ve felt exhausted and anxious and didn’t recognize it as grief– but it is.
Give yourself a little grace. Take a nap when you can and don’t feel guilty about it. We can only be so productive right now, but when we come out of this, we don’t want to show up as brittle shells of ourselves. It will make a difference, how we care for ourselves in whatever ways are possible.
When our baby is tired, nothing is right for her and she doesn’t know how to fix it. So we gently turn on her white noise, put her in her jammies, and lay her down in a quiet place. Even if the world hasn’t been fixed by the time she wakes up, she’s more ready to handle it with a little equilibrium.
The same is true for us. Put yourself down for a little nap and allow yourself to feel your range of emotions– without guilt.