Healthy Boundaries: “Should” You Push Yourself or Rest?

woman rebootingThis may seem like a no-brainer for most people but for those first born among us and who are also type A personalities, always pushing ourselves and used to being able to do whatever we put our minds to – this is a very real dilemma.

When I was first out of the hospital and as well as weeks past surgery I was still not supposed to do things like vacuum, walk upstairs or lift anything over 15 lbs. To someone like me who is used to just pushing past pain and getting it done, this was something I had to really think through.

I felt “lazy” just laying around and resting even though physically, that was exactly what my body needed at that time. It just felt wrong asking my daughter to go upstairs and do the laundry for me or asking my husband to vacuum the carpet even though physically I couldn’t do those things at that time. Those are things I did without a second thought, but I had to continually stop myself from just automatically doing something I wasn’t supposed to do because it could hinder or set back my healing. And believe me, I did not want anything to delay that. But it seemed to be a constant struggle, mentally, at least for me.

I had a very eye-opening, insightful conversation with a good friend. She had been dealing with her own health issues and we are both very similar personalities in that we have always been very strong and healthy and not used to asking for help. She said she noticed that one day she felt driven to buff her wood floors. Now keep in mind that she was dealing with a pain issue and she hadn’t buffed those floors in 14 years and it had not ever been an issue. But just as she was beginning to heal and feel some relief, she said she felt this absolute driving need to push herself to do this!

We talked this through and realized that often that lying devil will put those kinds of thoughts in our minds and almost taunt us into doing what we know good and well we aren’t ready to do right now. He seems to want us to overextend ourselves just when we are starting to heal so we set ourselves back and then we blame God. At least this is the conclusion she and I came to. We also decided that we would eliminate the word “should” from our vocabulary, which I am finding to be very freeing.

That gets me into trouble all too often. “Well I should be able to do this or that by now.” More often than not those “shoulds” just create feelings of inadequacy and guilt in me. Those are not healthy emotions and do not contribute to my well-being so I have decided to eliminate them. I am learning to use wisdom, to do what I feel I can at the moment and not worry about what I can’t yet do. As Joyce Meyer says, “I am a human being – not a human doing.”

Are there “shoulds” that seem to get you into trouble?

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About amusico

I am a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. All my coaching plans are based on my 3-D Living program and a big part of that are the Youngevity Products and Supplements I proudly offer! Visit my website at and learn more about the products and my coaching plans!
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6 Responses to Healthy Boundaries: “Should” You Push Yourself or Rest?

  1. Ann,

    Right from the start of this post I knew this was for me.  I am blessed to have someone like you that can point out the obvious.  Rest is so important for many reasons and I’m finding that the more I rest the more Jesus works.  Unfortunately I am learning the hard way.  I never realized how much of a mental battle it is to rest.  Rest doesn’t cause us to lose out on anything; it allows us to gain in every way. 

    Have a Victorious Day!  Marianne

    Sent via phone so please excuse typos and brevity.

  2. myhriahyoung says:

    This is such a great post. I am looking for inspiring, healing and refreshing posts today as I am working to pull myself out of a funk. I think that this concept can apply on days like the one I am having today as well. I want to accomplish so much, but just don’t have the emotional and mental capacity, so I need to allow myself the grace to rest and rejuvenate, and that can be hard to do. I will definitely be sharing your post on my blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.
    Thank you,
    Myhriah Young

    You will be able to find them here:

    • amusico says:

      Myhriah – I am so happy to know what I shared was helpful to you! I agree – often we as women especially almost need “permission” to rest and rejuvenate or just take some time for ourselves. But I have learned and continue to learn it is selfish not to! Thank you also for sharing the post on your blog, FB page and Twitter! I appreciate that.

  3. Ann, I definitely relate to the first born drive. It can be a total distraction from real productivity. I’ve also tried to eliminate “should” from my vocabulary. When I was recovering from knee surgery I was content to rest for a certain amount of time, and then it was like a switch flipped. I felt like I should be ready to go. All that did was discourage me. We don’t get to set the time table on how long or how much rest our bodies need. Great post!

    • amusico says:

      Absolutely Debbie – I am a first born too and you described it perfectly – like a switch flipped! It’s been an amazing learning experience for me recovering from these surgeries.

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