Do you want nothing more than to lie in the sun and read a good book? Is your To Do list running your life? And now, with summer coming, and outdoor activities being added, there is even more on your plate.
Let’s talk about deep rest. Are you getting any? With the combination of being over scheduled and under-fueled, we all need to hit the “pause” button, not just occasionally, but regularly. Remember, we are not robots!
Let me give you an example…
A few weekends ago I got together with a dozen of my dearest friends from the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, MD to celebrate our 40th High School Reunion (egads!). Afterwards, I came home and slept 12 hours straight. Twelve hours! I usually do fine on 7-8. So even when you have happy stuff going on, you may need extra down-time afterwards.
There used to be a day of rest that was a regularly scheduled event called “Sunday” or “The Sabbath”.
Now, stores are open 24/7 and we can work all the time, using our laptops, IPads, Iphones and GO TO Meeting links. So, it is up to us to schedule those much needed breaks.
Research shows that close to 25% of Americans don’t get paid vacation time. By contrast, the entire European continent takes the entire month of August, to travel and relax. The French get six weeks of guaranteed time off. The rates of depression, heart disease and other major illnesses in these nations is far less than those of Americans. Taking time off is not a luxury but a necessity. It is like putting your oxygen mask on first, before assisting a child or elder, on an airplane.
If you are not rested, you can’t be of help to others.
More important than that annual vacation is a weekly break. This means a day with little or no structure, where the psyche and physique can be guided by their internal desires.
This may not necessarily mean napping, but rather engaging in any activity that brings refreshment. For me, this usually involves an outdoor activity, whether it be hiking, reading a book on the deck, or playing in my garden. As the Dowager Duchess in Downtown Abbey remarked: “A change is as good as a rest.” So change it up this weekend!
1. Have a stash of books and music that you find relaxing and grab them as needed. DAILY. I enjoy listening to just about anything from Enya, Secret Garden or Sarah Brightman. And my two favorite books for morning reading are “Pocketful of Miracles” by Joan Borysenko, PhD, (which I have used almost daily for over ten years) and the Sacred Rythmn of Rest by Wayne Muller (which inspired this blog) .
2. Take a bath in Epsom Salts to which you have added essential oil of lavender. The magnesium that you absorb from the salts relaxes your body and the lavender scent soothes your brain.
3. Consider using Guided Imagery to create a mini retreat. My absolute favorite series is by Belleruth Naperstak, a psychotherapist from California, whose guided imagery is very specific to the health conditions she is addressing. Each CD includes about 20 minutes of imagery and 20 minutes of affirmations, that help us create new “tracks” in our brain, whether we are awake to hear them or not. Change happens while we sleep!
Order directly from her website: www.healthjourneys.com.
4. Renew yourself with a “Free Day”. My dear friend and life and business coach, Annie Mascelli, created this mini retreat which is easy to do. Check out this link to find out how. FREE DAY
Stay tuned for next time…tips on how to get a great nights rest!