How many of you feel like you are constantly on the go? From work to deadlines to extracurricular activities to whatever else you have going on in your life, it can sometimes feel like you never stop. All that action without pause can tire you out and start to wear down your body as well as your health. In the fitness realm, rest days are just as important as working out. Rest days allow the muscles you’ve worked to heal and recover so that you can become stronger and better. I think that is a great concept that needs to carry over into regular life. If you never take time to stop and recover, you won’t have as much energy to give to other aspects of your day. It can be tough to slow down if you’re always used to moving fast, so here are a few ways that you can help yourself rest.
This is one of the biggest, and toughest, ways to rest. If you’re anything like me, you are constantly plugged into your phone/computer/tablet/whatever electronic at all times. Your email is only a click away, people know they can call you whenever because your phone is always nearby, you’re constantly updating your status/tweets/photo, you even have gotten rid of your alarm clock because it’s all on your phone. While it’s great that you can do all these things from the palm of your hand, it can be draining to always be on. I know we can’t totally give up social media, we can try to lessen time spent on it. I’ve started to limit my phone/computer use on the weekends. At first it was a little tough, but after a few weekends without always being on my iphone, I realized how recharged I felt. Try giving yourself a one hour break from all social media/electronic devices. Enjoy some face to face time with your friends or read a book (a real one, with pages and everything). Your emails, tweets, and Instagram will all be there when you get back.
Pencil It In
Actually schedule some rest time into your day. Maybe you have a few extra minutes in the morning that you can spend alone preparing for your day. Or take some time right before bed to relax and unwind. It doesn’t have to be hours and hours of time, even a 10 minute chunk of time can be enough to help you feel rested. If you make the effort to really schedule some down time into your day, you are more likely to stick to it.
Do What You Like
When you do have a little time to rest, do things that you enjoy and find relaxing. Not everyone wants to sit down and read a good book for a half an hour. You might like to light candles and do yoga while others find it calming to go for a walk around their neighborhood. There is no wrong way to take a break as long as you actually take a break. Try different things like bubble baths, meditation, listening to music, or just sitting by yourself. Find what works for you and helps you to feel recharged.
Don’t Feel Guilty
This was and still is a tough one for me. I always felt guilty whenever I would take a little break. I felt like I needed to be doing something productive or else I was just wasting time and being lazy. I would rather run around all day checking off my to do list than take some me time for just five minutes. Then I started to think of taking a break as being productive rather than lazy. If I took just a little time each day to recharge then I was more able to tackle my to do list. Don’t feel bad for having a little bit of me time each day. In the end it is better to take a little rest than run yourself ragged.
If you find yourself exhausted and ready to drop by the end of each day, try taking just a few minutes to rest. I know it may seem silly and like a waste of time, but trust me, it’s worth it. Giving your body and mind a short break can help your overall health and that is always a good thing!