You might think that you take great care of your body with a healthy diet, regular workouts and supplements. However, skimping on the power of rest might be taking a toll on your body. It’s not just about getting enough shut eye, although the National Sleep Foundation does point out that most Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. It also requires mindful resting throughout the day, particularly if you have a stressful life.
Getting eight hours of sleep isn’t enough, or even feasible, for many people. It’s simply an average that scientists generally recommend at this point. Some people need ten hours. Some need five. Others prefer to take a series of naps throughout a 24-hour period. You may need to be proactive about scheduling these things in your calendar. No one strategy is necessarily better than all the others. It all depends on what your body craves. However, mindfulness throughout the day is just as critical.
This doesn’t mean you have to mimic Buddha with meditation, although that’s certainly an option. Simply dedicating a few moments to rest, peace and quiet can work wonders. This isn’t a time to brainstorm where you’ll find the perfect help desk software or think about what’s for dinner. It’s simply time to let your body get a break.
Build a Habit
There are certain habits you do every day that you’d never skip. It might be going to the gym, brushing your teeth or having your morning cup of tea. You should incorporate rest into those routines. Everyone’s busy, but 15 minutes can be carved into anyone’s schedule. If you’re really good at managing your time, an hour is ideal.
Get rid of any distractions and close your eyes to help settle your mind. Make yourself comfortable. Grab a blanket or change into your favorite yoga pants if that makes you feel better. Get rid of as much outside noise as possible, and choose lighting that’s relaxing.
Sounds simple, right? However, a lot of planning can go into reaching that level of bliss. Take advantage of the shortcuts at your disposal. This can include updating the software for your business to reduce time and double work. The right software program can instantly add more hours to your day. Developing a space in your home or office for peace and mindfulness can also feel like a challenge, especially if space is at a premium. Don’t worry, there’s no need to recreate a yoga studio in your home. A corner just for you is all you need.
It’s not always possible to change or lie down, but you should try. Your resting period might be as soon as you get home from work. If you have to pick up the kids right away, institute a brief resting period just for you if possible. Many Americans also sit too much. I find that a brisk walk around a beautiful block helps me settle my mind while energizing myself. It helps just in time for the ride home with a full car. You need to create a routine that lets your mind and body know it’s resting time.
Don’t get frustrated if you can’t relax. If you find your mind wandering to the work you took home, try your best to push those thoughts away. Set a timer for your resting period, and choose an alarm that ascends and is soothing. Resist the urge to check the time.
The Benefits of the Power of Rest
The benefits of rest are well documented and diverse. Everything from lowered risk of diseases to increased happiness is available. However, you must be committed to a daily practice if you want those benefits. You’ll have more energy and avoid burnout if you’re dedicated to improving your resting periods.
It’s easy to make excuses, especially since your life is so hectic. However, choosing to skip rest can hurt your health and relationship with others. You’ll be a better worker, spouse, parent and everything else if you take care of yourself first. Think about how many minutes you waste per day perusing Facebook or otherwise killing time, and convert those minutes into precious rest.
Originally published here.