Good work deserves great rest. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done though. Continuous work and effort feels much more productive and sitting still for even just a few minutes can seem unbearable.
But you know what? Rest and relaxation is just as important as working your butt off. The reason is that you really can’t do it all without giving yourself space and time to recover.
Yesterday, I wrote more than 6 blog posts in a row. I went to this co-working space and all I did was write, write, write. I couldn’t be happier doing this all day and I didn’t want to stop.
After a few hours, I went home and wrote again. I had 2 more blog posts to go and I could’ve just written them and then went to bed. But my brain was fried. I had to call it a day. So, quite reluctantly, I decided to sleep.
The next day, my thoughts became much clearer and I proceeded to write again. Listening to your body (or brain) gives more than it takes.
Here, some tips for rest and relaxation for rebel tendencies like me:
Five minute breaks
If you’re familiar with the Pomodoro method, you’ll notice that after your 20-25 minute focused work, you’re free to take 5 minute breaks (or 15 minutes after 4 sessions). I know it’s tempting to continue to work when you’re still in the zone but I challenge you to take that break!
You deserve a break from your momentum because you’ve been so focused for several minutes now and your brain needs to recharge.
During your break, I suggest drinking a glass of water, stretching, deep breathing, and walking around. Moving your body allows your blood to circulate more.
One to two days of “stay-cation”
If you feel like winter burnout is coming, please take the day (or two) off. Don’t knock yourself down. If the deadline is very near or you just aren’t able to take a 1-2 day leave, schedule it forward in your calendar. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious escape to the farthest destination you could find. It could just be staying at home, refueling yourself by doing all the things you love.
I know I’ve already mentioned and emphasized meditation and its benefits here on the blog. It might seem redundant and pushy but, yes, please consider meditating. It only takes 10 minutes of your day (using the Calm app) and the effects of it stay with you for longer than the time you meditated. It’s also a good reminder to be mindful of the present moment. And, as I always suggest, if you can’t meditate, then simply try to breathe a couple of deep breaths.
Your body communicates with you all the time. You just have to listen intently to it. When you do, it will pay off in dividends. Taking care of your body might seem like the last thing you should be doing when work is looming before you. But please consider this: you can’t do work anymore if you’re body can’t function as well as possible. So give it a break. Give yourself a break. We’re not robots. We’re people who have hearts, bodies, minds, and souls to nourish and nurture.