Ever found yourself wondering why you’re still running on fumes, despite nailing all your goals? Brace yourselves for a truth bomb: true success is impossible without rest. That’s right. Today’s episode with Mica isn’t just another chat; it’s a wake-up call to all the hustlers out there. It’s a testament to the power of rest and why you should be resting more.
Mica is serving up some serious realness on what it takes to step back and truly rest. She’s not just talking about catching some Zs—she’s on a mission to redefine what it means to take a break, teaching us that it’s not only okay but essential to play as hard as you work. In this heart-to-heart, Mica shares the gritty details of her own battle with burnout, the magic of setting non-negotiable boundaries, and the art of listening to what your mind and body are desperately trying to tell you.
Expect to embark on a journey filled with introspective questions and mindful reflections designed to shake up your routine and make you question—have you been underestimating the power of hitting the reset button? Are you overlooking the power of rest? This isn’t about glorifying the grind; it’s about celebrating growth, health, and sustainability in our grind culture.
So, are you ready to unlock the vault to vitality and vigor? Dive into this episode, where Mica breaks down how a pause can propel you toward unparalleled success and balance. It’s time to flip the script, redefine your hustle, and embrace the power of pressing pause. Hit that play button, and let’s revolutionize the way we rest. Remember, being boss is all about being your best self, and that starts right here, right now, with giving yourself the permission to rest. Don’t just do it for you—do it for your empire. Let’s get started.
Since childhood, I’ve been interested in dramatic storytelling. I’m a huge fan of opera. Shakespeare is my hero. My love for food photography developed in 2015, after visiting Philadelphia for the first time and falling in love with the Reading Terminal Market. I often say my work is as dramatic as a telenovela. I love to create saturated and vivid images. You can find my work on Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, Saveur, and The Infatuation. I’ve worked with H-E-B, CAVA, and Saveur Selects.
Mica: [00:00:00] Welcome to the 36th episode of the Savory Shot. I'm going to start this show out the same way I start it out every single time with thank you. If this is your first time, if this is your 36th time, thank you so much for being here. For all you ride or dies who've been here with me since episode one, you know I got to give you a shout out first.
Y'all, this show wouldn't be what it is without you. I mean it. It's the truth. Y'all have been here from day one. I can't thank you enough for coming back every episode, showing the same enthusiasm, the shame, the shame, the same love that you do every episode.
So thank you. To the ones who are joining us for the first time, [00:01:00] welcome. All you fresh ears out there, you boo things, you consider this your personal welcome wagon. Your girl is rolling out the red carpet into this little familia of ours.
Welcome, to the Hot Mess Express. For those who know me, for the ones who don't, my name is Mica McCook. I am a food photographer. I'm a Harry Potter fanatic. I love barbecue. I like breakfast tacos. Spicy salsa. I love my husband. I love our dogs. I love you guys. I know it's a little weird to say I love you being the first time that we've met, but I do. I love you. Thank you for joining this show. Okay. Yeah, that that's a little awkward. I, I hope you come back after this.[00:02:00]
It's a little messy. A little messy here. I hope y'all had a bomb weekend. If you follow me my personal Instagram, or my work Instagram, Austin Food Guide, then you should know that I definitely had a good weekend. I went to the Austin Food and Wine Festival, and uh, there was a lot of food, there was a lot of wine, there was a lot of tequila.
And I enjoyed all three in massive quantities. It was banging good time.. But before I go any further, let's talk about today's episode, y'all. In this episode, we are pulling back the layers. And we're talking about something that I think a lot of us could probably do a little more of, [00:03:00] rest.
I want to ask you this. Have you heard of this quote, A good rest is half the work? Ha! A good rest is half the work. Every time I see little quotes like that, it makes me want to yeet it out the window.
A good rest is half the work. Get out of here with that.
But it's true. A good rest is half the work. Makes you think, doesn't it? Rest is really the secret ingredia. Ingridia? Maybe that tequila's still in me, y'all, if I'm saying things like ingridia. The question, though, is, is rest really the sacred ingredient in our recipe for success? That's a, that's a [00:04:00] deep one. But before I get trailed off and down, down this solo episode, grab your coffee, your coffee, grab your wine. I don't know if it was five o'clock somewhere.
It might be five o'clock where you're at and uh, kick back in and enjoy the show.
Mica: Before I dive in to the meat and [00:05:00] potatoes of this episode. I want to give some context of how this whole topic came to be. So, as you know, I mentioned in the intro that I went to the Austin Food and Wine Festival and your girl had a banging, banging good time singing, drinking.
If you saw that video of me singing Garth Brooks. I got friends in low places where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away. Yeah, your girl was singing that hot potato mess, but I had a good time. At one of the vendors, Spellbound Wine, if you like wine, check out Spellbound Wine. This episode has not been brought to you by Spellbound Wine, but if they want to sponsor an episode, come on in.
Seriously [00:06:00] though, I went to Spellbound vendor booth. They were giving out free tarot readings. So I went. I stood in line. I saw this tarot reader, and y'all, what I learned from that, it was like three minutes.
What I learned from that three minutes, oof, I will take with me forever.
So I asked this tarot reader, I feel like I am on the verge of something big when it comes to my career, and I just want to know if I am headed in the right direction, if the things that I am doing are the right things, and am I putting the right energy into the right things that will continue to push me forward in this career path that I'm on.
So the tarot reader lays out them cards and tells me all kinds of crazy things, y'all. The first [00:07:00] thing that the tarot reader said, yes, I am on the verge of something big, but I need to rest more, because if I don't get the rest that I need, that I so desperately need, that I will be too burned out to enjoy the direction that I'll be in career wise.
The tarot reader said to me that you don't rest a lot. And it's true. It is so true. I don't rest a lot. The tarot reader told me that only in rest will I discover what I should be focusing my energy on. Only in rest, will I be able to take a step back and really see the big picture. I'm not a big risk taker that I'm pretty hesitant when it comes to big money moves all true, all true, but the main point, is that [00:08:00] I don't rest enough. And I told my friend Anna what this tarot reader said, and she like, full stop. Full stop, agreed with this tarot reader. She's like, Mica, you are always working, sun up to sun down. I'll send you a text message and I won't hear back from you until late that evening.
And I'm like, what? And then I get a text message from you at 5 o'clock in the morning. I'm like, why is she up at 5 o'clock in the morning? Like, You are not working. One who rests often and I wish that you would. And I was a little taken aback y'all because in the last year. I feel like I have been making an extra effort to be a present and accountable friend.
I've really been making an effort, so yeah, I was taken aback when she said that to me.
But, I was like maybe I could rest a little. So on Monday, this past Monday to be exact, I said to myself, I [00:09:00] am on a mission. I'm going to rest. I'm taking the day off. I'm not doing any work. I'm resting, taking the day off.
Man, I did everything but take the day off.
My mission was to embrace rest. And I didn't do any of that. The struggle was real. I cleaned my house from top to bottom. I did all my laundry. Pruned my flowers. I did the grocery shopping. I went on Amazon and did, some household shopping. Yeah, I did. By the time I sat down on my reading chair, it was already past 3:30. And I'm like, that's like half my day. What the fuck? I was supposed to rest today. I was so disappointed in myself. I felt like the [00:10:00] whole day just passed me by. And I had exactly two hours. of quote unquote actual rest. I read for two hours, and that was nice.
That was really nice. Then I cooked dinner, and then I was like, alright, it's time for bed. I'm laying in bed, and I was just thinking about this whole day. I was just so mad still at myself, because I was supposed to rest. And then it dawned on me that...
Rest is, for me, this elusive unicorn that I've never seen, that I don't know what it looks like, I don't know what it feels like. It's just different. And I needed to think about what does it mean to rest? What is my version of rest? Because everyone has something different.
Rest is different for everyone. Some people like to clean. [00:11:00] That's their idea of rest. Some people love to go run errands. That's their idea of rest. Some people want to post up on the couch and binge watch a Netflix show. That's rest. Some people want to catch up on ZZZ's. It's different for everyone. And for me, cleaning the house...
Doing the laundry, the garden and stuff, that wasn't rest to me. I didn't feel rested by the end of the day. I felt like my whole day was just gone.
So, this morning, I made an acronym for the word REST, R E S T, and I'm going to break that down.
Mica: First, let me just tell you guys what REST looks like for me. REST for me means [00:12:00] taking a break from social media. Getting out of the house. I'm an extrovert, I like to be outta the house. Resting is going to a nice restaurant that has a beautiful view.
I love bookstores, so I'd probably visit a bookstore and I'd... buy overpriced books. The other thing that I love to do, I love cruising. I love driving around Austin and I just love listening to music while I'm driving and singing along and if it's a nice day, I want the windows rolled down. There's a street in Austin, Lamar, and it is the longest street in Austin. It's one of the only few streets in Austin that starts all the way in North Austin and makes us all its way all the way through South Austin.
I love to get on North Lamar and I love to drive from North Austin all the way to South Austin. Is my favorite thing to do. That's my [00:13:00] rest.
Mica: I'm gonna list my acronym, and then I'm gonna break it down. All right. R. Recharge your batteries. E. Embrace your downtime. S. Set boundaries. T. Tune into your needs. Hey, clap, clap, clap, golf, clap, golf, clap. Hey, hey, whoop, whoop, Rest. So recharge your batteries.
Y'all, I know I'm not alone. Have you ever felt like you're running on empty? Even your coffee needs a coffee? That is your sign to recharge.
You wouldn't let your phone hit 0%, so why do it to yourself? When you rest, when you take your day [00:14:00] off, that is simply you plugging yourself into your charger and recharging your batteries. E. Embrace your downtime. My first job was at Chick fil A.
I was like 14 years old. I had this asshole of a manager. He really was. He was an asshole of an asshole of a manager. Something he always said, and I'm sure someone listening to this has heard this before. If you got time to lean, you got time to clean. There is no downtime allowed. You had to be doing something.
Even if there was nothing to do, you had to look around and make something up to do. I feel like that, that mentality has just followed me. It followed me into my high school years. It followed me in my college years, it followed me in my late 20s, it's [00:15:00] followed me into my 30s, and I want to shake it off and be rid of it by my 40s. Unraveling this idea that you just constantly have to be going, you have to keep doing, there's not a moment wasted. And you see those quotes, Those who want it, go after it. Those who are desperate for it, pick up after it.
Only the weak rest. Only the weak take a nap. I've come to the realization that, that, that, it's my Texan accent, my Texan accent, y'all, when I get so passionate about what I'm talking about, my Texan accent just comes out and it's crazy. But what I was trying to say earlier, and I'll probably cut this out, I've learned, and I continue to learn, and I will keep learning, downtime is not wasted time.
It's not a luxury. It is a [00:16:00] necessity, It's, it's a lifeline. It's as important and as vital as breathing in oxygen, as drinking water, as eating a meal. You cannot move forward anywhere in your life, in your career, in your personal relationships, in your work relationships, your goals.
You can't do any of that without rest.
So embracing your downtime, it's not something to feel guilty about. You see those stupid quotes on Instagram when it's look, I'm a, I'm a look one up right now. Like here's one, for example, I've got a dream that's worth more than my sleep.
I need my sleep. Half of car crashes are caused because people didn't stop at a road stop and take a nap for 20 30 minutes. Then they crashed their car off [00:17:00] a, off a cliff, never to be seen again. I don't know if that's true, but I need my sleep.
You need your sleep. That idea of stripping yourself of your basic minimum necessities is toxic as fuck, and you should you should let it go. You should drop it like a hot potato that it is. You need to find joy in the stillness, the quiet, and even the chaos that is doing nothing. And y'all, I know it's a lot harder for the parents out there.
The only respite that you can find is by hiding in a closet. Cause them damn kids won't leave you alone. You can't even take a poop by yourself cause they stickin their fingers underneath the door. And they're like, when you comin out, Mom? I get it. As a parent, finding downtime, let alone embracing [00:18:00] it, sheeit.
That's like finding a needle in a haystack. That's like finding the correct lottery numbers. It's, it's hard. But I'm challenging you parents to rest. I'm challenging anyone who Is feeling shame about embracing downtime to embrace it, even if only for a few minutes. S. Set boundaries. I'm gonna say it again.
I know it's a trigger word. I know my therapist is sick and tired of hearing the word boundaries because it's overused. But I'm gonna say it because I know that there are at least two of you out there who struggle. With setting boundaries, I read a long time ago, not that long, actually, it was like a year or two ago, it was for a class assignment, I was reading an article about why social media is so [00:19:00] addictive and like binge watching is so addictive.
It boils down to this thing called stopping cues. Before social media, before streaming services, there were stopping cues. If you watched TV, cable TV, there was a commercial break. That's a stopping cue. That was, your cue to get up and go get some water, go to the bathroom. When the show ends, that's a stopping cue to stop watching TV and do something else or watch the next show or whatever.
There was cues to stop. With social media and streaming, there are no stopping cues. The stopping cues have been removed. So you can scroll, scroll, scroll forever, swipe, swipe, swipe on TikTok forever. You could spend hours, hours on social media, and you could spend a whole day binge watching a Netflix show because there are no stopping cues.
Hell Netflix, it used to be [00:20:00] where the, the credits would play. Then you physically had to press the button to go to the next episode. It don't even do that anymore. Like it'll run the credits for like 10 seconds and then autoplay the next episode. Thus continuing and continuing. So you have to create stopping points for yourself. You have to create boundaries. You can use your phone as a timer. You can go, okay, I'm going to be on Instagram for 10 minutes, and then you set a timer for yourself. Then you tell yourself what you're going to do after that timer goes off. After 10 minutes I am going to get up and go do A, B.
Or after 20 minutes, I'm going to do this, this, and this. Setting those boundaries for yourself, you are drawing a line in the sand. You're, I don't know, office carpet, I don't know where you're at. But you're sending yourself a clear message. This is my time and I'm taking it back. I've decided that my work day [00:21:00] ends when Aaron gets home.
I think I said this earlier on Instagram a while back, that one of my rituals is that I clear off my desk, I write in my planner, my win of the day, I check whatever tasks I did that day, then I plan my next day, then I, I log off and I clean my desk off. I clear it up and then I get away from my desk.
That is the boundary that I set for myself. Maybe that's something you can do for you. You can say, you know what, for one hour a day, I am going to put my phone away and I'm just going to spend time with my kids. We're going to go outside. We're going to play. Or for one day a week, my spouse, and I are going to go on a date, or one day a month, I'm going to have a date to myself.
The kids are going to go to a babysitter, and I'm going to go and spend time for myself. Setting those boundaries and setting those boundaries with other [00:22:00] people, is huge, game changing, it's a life, I don't know what I'm trying to say, it's, it's a life changing thing because you are telling everyone that I need this in order to be my best.
Okay. Finally, T. Tune. In. To. Your. Needs. Man. What? If we all, just every so often, did like a little internal check in, or maybe even have a friend, like an accountability partner. It's so important that we listen to the signals that our bodies and minds are sending us.
They're the GPS to our well being. Every so often, just check in with yourself. How am I feeling? How am I doing in my heart? How am I doing in my mind? Am [00:23:00] I feeling a little burnt out? If you find yourself just dragging through the mud and you're like, Fuck this. I really don't want to do this.
Ask yourself, okay, do I need a rest? And really pay attention. You know how you get when you're tired. You know how you get when you're burnt out. You know how you get when you just are going through the motions. What do you need to happen in your life and your body to get through that burnout? Because it will happen and it will happen again and again and again and again. So think about that.
Rest, recharge your batteries, embrace your downtime, set boundaries, tune into your needs.
I'm not preaching anything revolutionary. I'm not preaching anything new. There are countless, countless, countless episodes that push this idea of [00:24:00] rest.
Mica: Why is rest essential? Why is recharging your batteries, embracing your downtime, setting boundaries, tuning into your needs, why is that important?
This is what I think, this is my opinion, you can take it, put it in your pocket, and run to Canada with it, or you can stamp on it like a book, whatever you want to do, it's just my opinion. Imagine your creativity as this dormant volcano, and without rest, it just sits there, but with that rest, you feel the bubbly, you feel the...
Okay, that's the sound of like lava shooting, I don't know, that did not sound... Let me try again. Om nom nom, om nom nom. And kaboom! You're erupting with ideas and [00:25:00] innovations and these crazy shoots and all these things. You charge into your photo shoots with this boundless energy. That rest. Believe it or not, is the spark you need for your creativity. Rest not only keeps your gears greased, but it also ensures that your gears don't grind to a halt from a burnout.
It's the guardian angel against that, that demon beast, that burnout beast. Y'all, rest is everything. And I know I'm preaching to this to myself more than I am to y'all about why you need a rest and, and not just go through the motions of rest, but get good quality rest, whatever that looks like for you.
Earlier in the episode, I told you what rest [00:26:00] looks like for me? I challenge you, to make a list for yourself of what does it mean to rest.
I'm talking about resting and then I give you guys homework, but for real though, for real, for real, here's some homework for you. I want you to sit down and think about what resting means to you. What resonates with you? Is it the R for the recharge, the E for the embrace, the S for setting boundaries or T for tuning in or all of them?
Send me a DM on Instagram. Send me an email. podcast at Austin Food Guide. I, I want to, I want to know.
Okay, I have an idea. We could have a virtual day of rest event and, and that can look differently for everyone. I don't know how I'm gonna pull it off since [00:27:00] one of my, my lists of rest is to not be on social media, so I don't know how I could hold everybody accountable for what rest means, but maybe we could do something like resting day, like hashtag rest day, and, and we all share a picture of what we did on our day of rest, so we can all plan a single day of rest, and then All rest and then we come back and we share what we did on our day of rest. Kind of Like our own Savory Sabbath.
And I hope I don't upset any of my Jewish family by calling it a Savory Sabbath. Maybe I'll ask my mother in law what she thinks. So yeah, let's, let's do that. Let's plan that. A day of rest. I'll, I'll come up with a cooler name. And if you are down for it and cool with it. I want you to send me a message on Instagram and say, I'm in.[00:28:00]
That's all you gotta do. Just say, I'm in, and then I will come up with the date, and I will come up with a way that we can hold each other accountable. The other thing I want to ask you guys I've had a couple people wanting to know about like a group where we can share photography tips, a group where we can talk about the episodes.
I've considered Patreon. I don't like the idea of charging people to be part of a membership. I am a little bit hesitant about Sysethasebook, but I do want to know what you guys would prefer. So I'm gonna put out another poll and I'm gonna say would you prefer a Patreon or would you prefer a Facebook.
If I did a Patreon, then I would do something a little bit more in depth. I would do photography lessons. I would do behind the scenes of my test shoots. I would do editing sessions. I would do something that you would earn your five bucks for.
So if you're, you're down for that, or [00:29:00] we can just keep it as a free community on Facebook and instead of like lessons and stuff like that, we'll just keep it as a place where everybody can provide resources. So let me know what you think about that. So we got the two polls, Day of Rest and a place to commune.
Would you prefer Facebook or would you prefer Patreon? Okie dokie, artichokies. Okay, the next episode, y'all. You're in for a treat. I'm gonna have such a hard time editing this episode. So the next guest, we had such a bomb ass conversation and it ran for almost two hours. Now I know y'all got, things to do and you don't have time to listen to a two hour episode, so I'm definitely gonna, trim the fat, but it's so good.
Everything we talked about is so good that I'm really gonna have a hard time bringing it back, bringing it down, but I will do my best. But please, please. Come back, because it's a [00:30:00] great episode. That's all I'm gonna say, that's all I'm gonna say. It's worth every minute, every second, but I hope that by the end of this episode, at least, that this inspires you to channel your own...
R. E. S. T. Okay, so three challenges. Since I did the acronym of R. E. S. T., I also would like to hear what your acronyms would be for R. E. S. T. So make an acronym, send me a DM. I want to share them on Instagram, so let me know if it's okay to do that. Three things. Think about what R. E. S. T.
means to you. Er, er, er, er. Think I guess this is like a twofer. Think about what R. E. S. T. means to you and send me a DM and tell me if you're in and I will start planning a day of R. E. S. T. Let me know if you would like a place to commune, Facebook or Patreon, and three, what's an acronym? You don't have to do all three, unless you want to.
You [00:31:00] don't have to. But at least do one, and whichever one you do, I'm sure it'll be bomb. But y'all, I just want to say thank you so much for listening to the show. I'm trying something a little new. I am flying off the handle. Woohoo! I'm not following a strict script. I just want to speak from the heart.
I decided to do it this way because so many of y'all share your heart with me that it's only fair that I do the same. If this episode is a little unhinged and, and less structured and less polished, that's because I am thinking on the fly and thinking from my heart. So thank you for being here, and I hope you check back for the next show.
So keep resting, keep playing, slaying, and I will catch y'all on the flip side. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh . Bye y'all.