Taking time to rest and recharge is important, especially when your life is at its busiest. Creating a life you love can be exhausting, and we often have to pack our days full to keep up with everything we need to do. While you might feel lazy for taking time to relax, getting in your rest will help you stay at your peak. If you don’t recharge, then you’ll eventually burnout. In the long run, a burnout will take much more time to recover from than you would have spent resting often.
Getting proper rest doesn’t require massive amounts of downtime or special circumstances. While taking a spa day or going on a retreat would be awesome, regular people don’t have the time or resources to indulge in these activities. Luckily, you don’t have to do anything special to get your R&R. All you need to do is plan to rest, find an activity that helps you recharge, and give yourself permission to take a break. Try these five tips to help you rest better so that you can keep up with the life you love:
Rest before you reach burnout.
Don’t wait until you feel overloaded to take a break. Many people push themselves to work beyond their limits, which inevitably leads to a crash. In the long run it takes longer to recover from burnout than it does to get the proper rest and recovery to prevent it. Plus, taking care of yourself will help you feel better and enjoy your days more.
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Don’t expect yourself to do more than you expect of anyone else.
- Consider regular breaks to be a normal part of life, not an indulgence.
Schedule in daily/weekly rest periods.
While your day is likely too packed for a long rest everyday, most people can spare 10 to 30 minutes to recharge. Plan for this rest break each day, as well as a couple of hours once a week. Try to give yourself this larger break one day a week, such as on the weekend. During your longer weekly rest period, you don’t have to isolate yourself from friends and family. Instead, choose an activity that you can enjoy with them, such as a family movie, long nature walk in the park, or cooking and eating a meal together as a family.
- Start with ten minutes per day, then try to work up to half an hour.
- If you have a family, look for ways that you can relax and recharge together.
- Try using your morning or evening hours as your rest and recharge time, especially on the weekends.
Spend your rest periods doing something that recharges you.
Everyone is different, and what you consider rest might be different from what works for someone else. For example, you might benefit from a leisurely stroll through the park, while your best friend might prefer to curl up with a book. What’s important is that you choose something that allows you to relax and recharge so that you have the energy to get through the rest of your day or week.
- Do yoga
- Read a book
- Go for a walk
- Try gardening
- Play with your pet
- Take a long bath
- Create art
- Learn to knit or crochet
Turn off your voice of judgement while you rest.
Don’t let negative self talk ruin your relaxation time. Thoughts like, “I’m being so lazy,” “I should be doing something right now,” or “I feel like such a slob” are counter-productive. They won’t help you accomplish anything, but they will make it hard for you to rest and recharge. If you catch yourself having these thoughts, stop yourself and rephrase it so that it’s a positive thought.
- Tell yourself that you need this time to relax so that you can have more energy later.
- Remind yourself that taking breaks will help you avoid burnout.
- Write down a few positive statements that support your rest breaks so that you can read them when you feel like judging yourself.
Don’t multitask during your rest periods.
It can be tempting to do other activities while you rest. For example, you may decide to get a little work done while you relax. If you multitask during your rest periods, then you aren’t actually resting. Give yourself permission to just relax. Similarly, don’t allow rest to creep into your work time. For example, don’t turn on your television while you complete your work because it will take you much longer to get your work done, and the over-stimulation will make you feel drained.
- Just relax during your rest period.
- Stay focused while you’re getting your work done.
- Separate active times from rest times.
Getting proper rest will restore your energy and help you meet the demands of your life. Give yourself the permission to rest and recharge. You deserve it, and everyone around you will benefit from a relaxed, happier you.
How do you rest and recharge?
This article also appears on http://www.mindfulcurvylife.com.