It’s mid-afternoon, you’re head begins to pound, you’re feeling drained, your eyes are tired and you’re counting down the hours until home, and the bedtime. Mental and physical fatigue is an everyday struggle for many people. More and more of us work long hours, try to juggle a family and social life and have seemingly endless chores to do. Our brains are overloaded and overworked and our quality of sleep and rest is poor. In order to keep up with life we need to give our brain adequate downtime to reset, refuel and function at it’s best.
Our brains are always working at a considerable rate even when sleeping or relaxing, keeping our bodies functioning, repairing and processes information, thoughts and emotions. Many people reach the end of the day and lie down in bed only to find an onslaught of worries, ideas and thoughts. Not getting enough sleep or restlessness can hinder your productivity, creativity and health. Many recent studies have proved that those who nap have considerable improvements in awareness, motivation, achievement and overall mood. So why not have a sneaky afternoon nap!. The ideal amount is between 20 minutes to an hour.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind of clutter and when done effectively provides the rest and relaxation needed to get the most out of your day. Meditation is about finding stillness and clarity of mind, clearing away excessive thoughts and relaxing every part of your body to achieve a state of deep rest. It’s even been shown in MRI tests that it can provide a deeper level of rest than when sleeping.
And it can be practiced almost anywhere for as little as 5 minutes! Just find a space, preferably somewhere quiet and removed from distractions. You can use breathing techniques, or focus on relaxing each of your limbs at a time until you reach a state of calm. By focusing on body and breath you aim to remove all other thoughts and awarenesses. If you are not sure where to get started there’s some great guided videos and audio online or why not try a meditation class near you?
Give yourself permission to take more downtime for your mind and it will reward you with better results and a happier outlook!