Sleep is one of the most important things for your body. It helps to keep us healthy and also in a reasonable frame of mind. Even though it sounds silly, sleep gives us energy, but sometimes we still wake up exhausted. Your first step is to get enough sleep – between seven to eight hours of it. But, if you’re feeling exhausted even with that amount of sleep, you maybe need to look at other ways of resting throughout the day. This notion means giving your mind and body a break and allowing it to reset before moving on. Your body needs sleep to function correctly, but there are other ways to rest up and recover.
Most of us live very stressful lives. Work, money, relationships can bring on stress, and it affects our health sometimes. Our culture has become fast-paced, and we always feel the need to keep up with this – no matter the cost.
Small things add to our stress, like getting stuck in traffic or answering a whole inbox of emails first thing in the morning. Because of this constant state of stress we are in, our sympathetic nervous system is activated.
What does this mean? It’s our fight or flight mode, and stress can sometimes be a good thing, but in the long term, it’s taking a massive toll on our bodies. It’s time to let your nervous system have a reset and rest.
When you can do that, you will feel so much calmer and more relaxed. This rest will give your body and mind the chance to perform at it’s best. If you’re running on fumes and coffee, it’s only going to worsen.
Since many of us can’t take naps during the day, what else can you do to allow your body to have this break that it desperately craves? Firstly, rest is going to be different for everyone depending on your life.
How much time can you take out? What are the stressors in your life? You need to find what works best for you, your body and mind. It could be as simple as taking a 10-minute break from work instead of trying to get it done quickly.
It’s time to start thriving in your life instead of dreading each new day as it brings new challenges and stress. There’s always going to be more work you need to get done, so it’s time to bring in some rest habits to restore your daily energy.
Let’s start by looking at the bigger picture, and by this notion, we mean the whole year. When was the last time you took some time off work? Traveling might be stressful at this point, but there are some great staycation options too.
Taking some proper time out of the office is fantastic for everyone. It could be the perfect chance for you to reconnect with your family and for everyone to reset and restore before heading back to work and school.
If you can, try and take at least a week off for your vacation. If you can travel, pick somewhere that you can relax. Everyone tries to pack the vacation full of activities, including holidays, but this break could be the vacation you just read, lie on the beach and do nothing.
If you can’t manage to take a whole week or two off work, plan a weekend, or even a one-day getaway. You’ll be amazed at how it feels like longer than just a couple of days. If it’s a shorter trip, do it close by so you don’t spend all your time traveling.
Less time traveling means more time to relax. If you enjoy camping, this is the perfect way to rest and enjoy being disconnected from work. If that’s not your style, you could book a local AirBnB and just take some time to do what you enjoy doing.
Apart from going on holiday, what are other ways to ensure you rest throughout the year? Take a long look at your calendar. Does it seem way too full? Try to start scheduling in time for yourself and not just things you feel obliged to do.
It’s also ok to say no to some things. It could be something with your friends or a team bonding session. If you find yourself getting too busy, learn to say no and mark off time in your diary to do something that you enjoy.
Now, this next one relates to your overall health. We all get sick, and that’s just part of life. But, we don’t often take the proper time to recover from it, and this can lead us to get even more ill and feeling unrested.
When you get sick, ease yourself back into normal life. Learn to listen to your body and let it recover properly. That means you need to rest, so you might need to cut back on certain obligations until you’re 100% again.
If you’re looking for a more common way to make your life more restful, you can look at it in terms of months or even weeks; you can start with your gym schedule. If you are someone who loves to work out, try giving your body some time off.
Workouts take up a good portion of our day, and sometimes it feels like much effort to go to the gym each day. If you are finding you get overwhelmed by this, take a rest day or even a rest week each month.
You don’t have to schedule this rest week into your calendar, just listen to your body and when it needs a break. You aren’t going to become unfit suddenly because you’ve taken a few days out of the gym.
If you know you have a busy week coming up, don’t pressure yourself to squeeze in too much. Some things can be passed until your timetable eases, and you can start working out again. You will enjoy your exercise a lot more when you don’t feel anxious about time.
When it comes to the weekend, this is the time you need to give your body time to rest. Some weekends will allow for this, and some won’t. The best thing is to find a balance between fun and activity-packed weekends, and ones where you can relax.
One of the best tips for getting rest on the weekend is to power off completely. It means not checking your email or social media. If you can, turn off your phone and computer for the weekend, or even just one day.
This new habit of turning off your phone will be a game-changer; you will automatically find yourself feeling so much more rested when you return to work on Monday. You’ve given your brain a break from thinking about things that need to get done.
Understandably, not everyone can turn their phones off, so you can even just set aside a few hours to turn it on silent but keep it close by in case someone contacts you regarding an emergency.
Another way to relax and rest on a weekend is to let yourself sleep in way past your typical time. You might feel lazy doing this, but your body will thank you for it. Instead of setting the alarm, allow your body to wake up when it is ready naturally.
Even if you wake up at 6 am and can’t sleep any longer, enjoy a nice lie-in, read a book, or watch some Netflix you haven’t had time for lately. Take it slow and enjoy the pace of not having to rush to get up and go somewhere.
It’s a distinct way of giving your body some rest time – book in for a massage. This activity isn’t a possibility for everyone every week, but you should treat yourself every few months. A pamper session does wonders for the soul.
If you have a birthday coming up or an occasion where people will be buying you gifts, you could even ask for a spa voucher that you can use when you need a break. You should also check out the offers section and see if you can get a discount.
If you don’t want to go to a spa for a massage, you could ask your partner for one. Plan a relaxing spa day at home where you give each other a gentle back massage, and you can even play spa music in the background.
Relaxation is something we underestimate and think we have to be on the go always. You will burn out if you carry on with this, and you don’t even need to spend anything to enjoy the benefits of resting your body.
Learn to go with the flow on weekends. On reflection, you’ll probably notice that you unconsciously schedule your weekends too. You’ll have it all planned out from everything you need to get done.
Instead of doing this, take a weekend to just do whatever you want without planning it. Without the stress of having to achieve the things you have scheduled, you’ll find yourself feeling rested when the weekend is over.
Your weekdays are scheduled, and they most probably work best this way. Taking a break from that type of routine will also allow your body and mind to calm down and relax. A change of pace is always good.
You could go for a nice walk to relax on the weekend or just sit the whole day watching series. Without the pressure of having to be somewhere, your mind will feel at ease. Order in food as well, so you don’t have to worry about cooking or dishes.
On the other hand, sometimes there are things that we just can’t avoid getting done. Even if you want to take a weekend off and go with the flow, you might not be able to. So, how should you do this and still rest?
Try and get these things done and out of the way instead of delaying the inevitable. The stress of getting it done will linger in your mind, and it won’t allow you to relax properly before you have done these things on your to-do list.
You can try to have a productive morning where you get up and get things done. That will allow you to have free time later when you are carefree and can relax completely without worrying about anything.
Don’t let your weekend become a 6th and 7th day of your work schedule. Try and free up as much time as possible on the weekend to enjoy yourself. Plan your day wisely to allow you to eventually “go with the flow.”
We also tend to pack our weekends with social activities instinctively. This habit is a natural thing to do because we socialize with our work colleagues during the week, and the weekend is time for us to see our other friends and family.
However, fitting all of this can leave you feeling drained as you would feel after a long day of work. Manage your time so that you have a balance between your social commitments and your time to relax. You could also organize a relaxing day with friends to incorporate both!
Now, for the things that you can change in your everyday life to feel far more rested than you are at the moment. Firstly, you can nap. Naps are a great way to quickly recharge your batteries if you are feeling low on energy.
Even just a 10-minute power nap can make a big difference to your energy levels. Of course, not all of us have the time to nap during the day. You could also squeeze in a power nap when you get home after work before you need to make dinner.
If you can’t take time out to nap, lying down is also a great way to rest up. Doing this for 10 minutes will help you feel more rested and able to face whatever the rest of the day has in store.
You could lie down on a couch, a yoga mat, or anywhere that you have available to you in your environment. You’ll need to make sure you don’t accidentally fall asleep, though when doing this – it can be very relaxing!
If neither of these options appeals to you – you can just breathe. You probably think that you already do this, and you’re still feeling tired. It’s because you aren’t breathing to relax, you’re just breathing to survive.
Find a moment in your day when you have a few minutes to yourself. You can do this at your desk or even in your car in the traffic. Breathe in deeply, and exhale. Focus on your breath and let it flow through your body. Do this for one to three minutes, and you’ll feel relaxed afterward.
Another daily tool for relaxation that is similar to the concept of using the breath to rest your body is meditation. You can do meditation wherever you are; you don’t need a yoga studio and candles to benefit from this.
Download a meditation app on your phone, schedule 10 minutes out of your day – perhaps at the start of it to set your day off on a good note. Put in your earphones and follow the guided meditation practice. You can do this whenever you are feeling overwhelmed to help your body and mind relax again.
While you have those earphones in, you can use music to help you rest. Soothing music can have a very relaxing effect on you. If you work in a noisy environment or easily get distracted, this can help.
By blocking out distractions, you will be more able to get through your work, which will leave you feeling less stressed. Less stress means extra rest for your body. Look at buying some noise-canceling headphones if you want the full effect and find this method helps you.
Find a way to fit in a bit of exercise each day. This concept doesn’t require you to hit the gym every morning before work; it just means getting up from your desk and moving your body to increase your serotonin levels.
Fresh air does your body wonders. Get up and take a walk during your day. This activity can be just ten minutes or thirty during a break you have. Simple things like this can allow you to clear your mind and feel more rested during the day.
Create more boundaries for yourself when it comes to work and personal life. When you get home from work, stop checking your emails, and give yourself some proper time off and out of the office.
This idea is also vital if you work for yourself. It may seem that you have to be on the clock always, but this won’t be good for you in the long run. Set yourself a time limit and end your workday at a particular time each day.
Create a new morning ritual for yourself. This concept is the perfect way to relax your mind and body before the start of the day. That will look different for everyone and will depend on what you find to be relaxing.
It could be taking time to enjoy your coffee with no interruptions or journaling your feelings and worries about the day ahead. Take between 10 to 30 minutes for this ritual, and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start the day.
When was the last time you read a book? A book is a fantastic way to rest without sleeping. Whether it is fiction or factual, reading is so good for you and helps you to relax your mind and your body.
You could use your morning ritual to do some reading before you start your day. Reading takes your mind off other things and allows you to reset your mind. It’s also great to read before bed and might even help you sleep better.
A bath is another way to rest that doesn’t involve sleeping. This idea is the perfect way to relax your body after a long day or even if you have had an intense workout. Let your body soak in warm water and feel relaxed.
You can add extras to make it more relaxing like bath salts and oil, candles, and even something to watch or read while you soak in the tub. That also allows your body to lie down and take a moment to rest.
Did you know that the type of food you eat can help you rest better? Apart from the apparent avoidance of caffeine from the afternoon onwards, there are other choices you could be making to help you sleep better at night.
Avoid eating chocolate, steak, and spicy foods as these can keep you up at night. When you eat a big meal late in the evening, your metabolism has to work very hard, and this can make you have a restless night.
To get the best possible sleep at night and feel relaxed adequately at your bedtime, you should make sure that you leave all electronic devices behind, especially your cellphone.
We start aimlessly scrolling and not allowing our minds time to rest from looking at a screen all day long. Fill your evening time with other things like reading, journaling, listening to calming music, or chatting with your family.
Last but not least, assign yourself a bedtime. Remember when you were younger, and you were sent to bed at a specific time? That is a habit you should take up in adulthood too. We all tend to go to bed late because our minds are too busy.
Switch off at some point in the evening and start your winding down process. When you can go to bed at a reasonable hour and go to bed feeling relaxed, you will sleep better, which will give you more energy the next day.
Allowing your body time to rest and recover is the best gift you can give yourself. When your body is feeling it’s best, you will perform well and be able to do the things you want to without feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
Resting your mind is also essential, and the way to do this is by eliminating the things that cause you to stress, and if you can’t, finding a way to manage this. There are simple ways and significant life changes you can make.