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Earning Your Rest, Chivon John on The Pressures Of Productivity In A Pandemic

Chivon John and The SIE Fund



In chapter one of this article, we talked about prioritizing self-care, now we're picking up where we left off to touch on the topic of rest and if we need to earn it?


No matter how we all want to go back to the way it was, the pandemic is not over yet, and everything is canceled. With that said, Tennile asked if Chivon believes now is a prime opportunity to be authentic versus performative online.


"Absolutely. This period has given us all the permission to be human. People want to stay present and connect. No need to pretend and do curated posts; this time is about asking people how they are doing or what you can do to help. That's what we need right now versus the feeling of perfection. At the end of the day, it's all about just genuine, amazing connections, helping one another, and trying to create a new or whatever normal looks like. That is a better reality than what we had before."


Apart from her full-time job and being a wellness coach, Chivon runs a podcast called Filtered Perceptions. She reveals 'honest and relatable truths' behind the success stories of creatives, side hustlers, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs. Having a full calendar of multiple projects, she shared some ways she found helpful to juggle it all.

I think the main thing is prioritizing rest – rest is not optional.

"You are juggling a full-time job and a business on the side, yet sometimes, you put a lot of pressure on yourself because you want to keep up with other people. I would say, at least for me personally; I throw all of that away because I'm running my own race. I'm not concerned about what other people are doing and how far ahead they are because I don't know their circumstances. For me, if I have my downtime, I ensure that I'm renewing my energy, and it can be as simple as resting – sleeping, taking a walk, or reading a book."


Chivon also talked about having the discernment to know what tasks to outsource. If projects are taking up too much time, don't try to do it all—hand it off where you can. It's essential to have time for self-care, avoid crazy timelines, don't keep up with the Joneses, and just simply know your goals. She still loves the work she does at her full-time job and wants to keep her business going.


"I know for some side hustlers, they intend to make it full-time eventually, and that is fine. However, you must know what your immediate goal is and delineate how much time you're going to invest in each project or what to prioritize."


This wellness advocate reiterated how work often becomes the center of our lives—that sometimes we feel that we have to earn our rest.

She flagged rest, as an important part of the creative cycle. 

"It is part of your well-being that allows you to be able to sustain for the long haul. We cannot operate at a level ten at all times. It's also important to have other outlets that restore you, and your 'creativity and fun' are not necessarily tied to an accomplishment or achievement. Just something that's for you, making time to explore what makes you happy or you love doing. Start reframing rest as something that you don't earn, but something that you need to sustain your performance and your health and well-being."


Rest is a vital part of Chivon's self-care protocol. In fact, in one of her previous interviews, she birthed the acronym for R.E.S.T.: Resilience, Exercise, Self-compassion, and Thoughts.

Taking the time to strengthen mental Resilience, prioritizing Exercise, actively practicing Self-compassion, and paying careful attention to any ruminating Thoughts.


Finally, Chivon gave a brief run-down on the pressures of productivity, self-care, and wellness. Some of her non-negotiables are overdosing on self-compassion and removing the pressure to keep up with peers.


"Don't take on anything right now that is going to create more stress in your life. Keep your mental health front and center. Joyful ambition is important. Seek those moments out. We have to redefine productivity as not only about creating things for a direct result but also about recognizing all of the things you are doing. Instead of thinking, in terms of a period or a season of lack, look at all the things you are doing on a day to day – you're still thriving. You're here at this moment, we're in a pandemic, and you're getting up every day, doing what you can, and you're doing your best. Recognize that rest is part of the journey, and we all need that right now."


You don't have to earn it.



*This interview was conducted in May of 2020.

Visit Chivon’s website or follow her on Instagram @chivonjohn to get updates on what she has been recently up to. You should also check out her podcast and catch up on episodes.

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