Rest and recovery is a key principle to performance in any athlete. Athletes know that physical improvements from all of their hard training only occur during recovery time. Athletes that compete well beyond the normal performance span such as Roger Federer have mastered recovery. This is true for both mind and body. Sleep is the equivalent physical rest for the mind. Growing evidence shows the importance of sleep in decreasing inflammation in the body and the brain.
Make rest a priority this summer.
- Do Less. Make a conscious effort to double your estimation of how long any activities will take. Give yourself more time with one activity to truly enjoy it. Even with summer housework projects put limits on how much you want to achieve. Give yourself permission to say “No” when things come up that threaten this easier schedule.
- Schedule Rest Time. Rest time can slowly slip away as we plan our summer. Put “rest” on your calendar just as you would any other activity.
- Take an Adult Nap. As adults sometimes actually sleeping during the day can disrupt our sleep cycle. I call an adult nap a period of time where you just rest, recline and do something quite without an I-phone or a TV. This can be crossword puzzle, reading a magazine or just swinging in a hammock.
- Be mindful during your vacations. Really enjoy your surroundings when you get away. Take time to get really interested in everything about the new experience you are about to enjoy. Push away other demands on your time as much as possible and just enjoy the moment.
- Try a relaxing activity. Try a low intensity activity something that quiets you mind. Put the earphones and audio away and just get absorbed in that activity. It can be something as simple and out of the routine as stargazing, painting a bookcase or looking for shells on the beach.
- Get out into Nature. Even if you are not the “outdoorsy” type, our brains are still wired to be cued into nature. Sounds, pictures and being out in nature naturally restore our minds. Find you personal “green zone” whether this is your backyard or a local park and just enjoy some scheduled time outside.
Make rest your secret to longevity. Sleep well. Rest well. Enjoy your life today.
Dr. Sharyl Truty, MD is a board-certified physician and owner of Balanced Physician Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Her practice seeks to provide the best of conventional and holistic care in a positive and personal manner. She is also has been a Board Member of Positive Focus for several years. To learn more or sign-up for her newsletter, check out her website at BalancedPhysicianCare.com