The upside of downtime: A healthier YOU!

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MPP0109930 199x300 The upside of downtime: A healthier YOU!

Recently I wrote about the notion of incorporating rest into your life.  As I was thinking about my blog post for this week, I thought it might be helpful to talk a little bit about the importance of timing our rests, breaks and downtime.  Most of us living in the US (and even some of my friends in Europe and Asia) feel the relentless pressure of performance, forward movement, production and near constant activity.  Even our communication these days is set up in a way that we often feel the need to respond immediately to every request… as texts, emails, messages and calls come rolling in 24 hours a day.

The lovely thing about all this activity is that it feels stimulating, important, active and interesting.  The downside?  Well, the downside is that there is no downtime; no spaces between demands, no break for introspection, no time to just putter around and let ideas come to you.  This lack of downtime leaves us feeling overwhelmed and stressed, not healthy!

A healthy (and health promoting) rhythm encourages a time to produce and a time to rest.  Forward motion followed by total relaxation.  Communication and interaction interspersed with silence and solo time.

In what may seem like a paradox, I suggest scheduling breaks in your weekly calendar.  Mark off time that is unplanned, unfilled, and unproductive.  Let yourself actually take a break, by setting aside time for it.  Take time off from your various electronic devices, close the door at your office, take a break from it all.  These breaks should happen daily if you can, at least several times per week if daily is just too hard.  They don’t have to last long, but when you can get chunks of time to just take some time off it is good to go for it!

Enjoy your rest.

Best wishes~ Dr. Carrie

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