Forget diamonds and unobtainium, the most valuable and most rare commodity of them all is a bit of downtime. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a full-time mom or newbie entrepreneur, it’s become so hard to steal a moment for yourself; one where no one needs anything from you, you have no pressing deadlines, nothing on your to-do list that is life-threatening, and no expectations for you to be this, that or t’other. Instead, the only thing on your radar is total relaxation.
At least, that’s the plan. But how often do things actually go to plan? Even a spot of downtime. It’s a romantic pipedream that’s filled with confusion, anxiety, stress, and guilt. Yup. Stress and guilt. We feel guilty for not doing something and we feel stressed about not feeling proactively stressed because that’s how we all measure success.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of things you should be doing to better use your downtime and help you fully recharge. Enjoy.
Schedule It In
Think about it: You schedule everything else, from client meetings to dinner parties to working out, so it makes total sense for you to start scheduling in some downtime too. Trust me, when you pop a feet-up session into your diary, you’re more likely to commit.
There are a thousand things to feel guilty about. The house is a mess. I could be working. The shopping hasn’t been done. It’s endless. But the next time these thoughts creep in, just tell them to go away. We all need to take care of ourselves better, but that takes time.
A modern-day epidemic is that urge to reach for our phones every thirty-three seconds – something that needs to stop. It is doing no good for your rest. It’s a much better idea to pick up that book you almost started last summer, or try your hand at relax hypnosis, or have a bath, or get into yoga, go for a walk, or commit to an episode of Downton Abbey without getting distracted.
Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to relax is to move your body. It’s about using your break to clear your mind, encourage your endorphins and get your limbs moving. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sweat session. Just a half-hour here or there to help your body and mind totally unwind.
We are such a big fan of the power nap. Could be a quick five minutes in your favorite chair or twenty minutes on the sofa; the kind that isn’t long enough to sap all your energy. Of course, time is not the important factor in all of this; it’s getting all snuggly, comfy, cozy, and finding that relaxing land of nod for a brief moment.
It seems crazy that making the most of your downtime is so hard to master, but that’s just the way of the world at the moment. Hopefully, these tips and ideas will help you relax more.