How to Balance Life - Rest and Recharge
Learn How to Create Balance in Your Life
Recently I had a alternative therapist remind me that I would feel better in myself if I can create a healthy balance in life between activity and rest or inactivity.
As much as I needed to be doing things, there are also times when I need to be resting and recharging. For example - the way muscles work is by contracting or shortening (working) and relaxing or lengthening (playing or resting). The resting phase is when the exchange of waste products and food and oxygen take place so that the muscles can continue to work.
We also need to do this with our brains and every aspect of our lives in order to be able to keep going and doing well.
So, how do we do this - how do we find the right work life balance?
Most people know how to work, but don't fully know how to rest and recharge, so here are some ways to learn how to effectively create a healthy balance in life - your life.
What to Look for When Your Life is Out of Balance
Before covering some techniques on how to effectively relax physically, let's take a look at some of the signs that might indicate that your rest/activity balance is out of kilter.
- unexplained irritability
- waking up feeling tired
- feeling of being rushed
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling like everything is an effort
- mildly depressed
- feeling disorganized
- increased frequency of mild illnesses eg colds
- increased anxiety
- no time out from work and family activities
- increased resentment
- prone to being weepy
- overly or unusually emotional
- feeling indifferent
- feeling of apathy
- feeling of being out of control
- constant activity
- lack of motivation
- sleep too much
- not wanting to get out of bed in the morning
There are many signs that there is too much, or perhaps not enough activity in a person's life.
It is important to have a healthy balance between the two - to make the most of your life, of the creative abilities and strengths that you have - as well as enjoying what you do.
Work Rest Balance in Life - Getting It Right
Here are some ways to create that work rest balance in life that will help maximize your life and help you achieve your personal goals... what you want to get out of life.... and do it satisfyingly well.
1. Set Aside Time Each Week
Most people do this to some degree - but I will state this nonetheless. Work five days or six if needed, but rest completely on the seventh day.
This was stated first in the Bible but there is a reason for it. It has been shown in countless studies that when you rest one or two days then work five or six days, you are more productive than if you continued to work without taking time off.
- During this Time, Redirect Your Mind
When you are away from work, do not use your mind for anything to do with work. Allow your mind to relax and spend time instead with your friends and/or family. Catch up on housework, or some craft; go for walks; get some exercise; catch a movie or play games with your family or friends. It is important that you take a complete break from the work you do. If you do 'thinking' work then get physical in your time off. If your work is physical, then rest your body and exercise your mind.
2. Schedule 'Mini' Vacations
Every three months approximately, take three days off completely from work and recharge your battery. If you think you can just do a few things in this break, it will keep your mental 'work cogs' ticking over and you will not get the complete break and rest from work you need. This is counter-productive in that any work you do will likely be of a lower quality than usual, and the rest you take will be less than effective.
3. Diary in a 'Solid' Holiday Break
Take off a minimum of two to three weeks in one block every year completely away from work. Taking a complete break from work gives the body and the mind a chance to recharge and refresh, so that at the end of the holiday fresh energy is available when going back to work. If you cannot go away anywhere, although this is an excellent way of getting away from everyday 'stuff' and seeing new places and new faces, then pretending to be a 'tourist' in your own town or city is another way of creating some wonderful holiday experiences and memories. See the place where you live with new 'eyes' and get out, explore it and have some fun.
Getting Away From It All - Going Camping
Other Helpful Breaks:
In between your 'break-times,' when the going gets a little tough and you feel like a break, take a mini-break.
- a brisk fifteen minute walk after work
- catch up with a friend for coffee
- watch one of your favorite comedies and have a good laugh.
b. Emotional Breaks
If you are in the middle of relationship difficulties, or in a draining work situation, give yourself a mental break from it by refusing to think about it or talk about it or worry about it for at least one whole day a week.
To perform at your best mentally, you cannot be emotionally distracted continuously by people or circumstances.
c. Nature Breaks
One of the best ways I have found to have a break, is go for a nature walk. As I walk I relax physically, mentally and emotionally and the 'commune' with nature restores my peace quite naturally.
Taking an Exercise Break
d. Food Breaks
The digestion of food requires lots of energy so sometimes it is good to give our body a break and eat foods that require less work such as fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt are not good for us and only make our bodies work harder, so lighter foods can increase the energy available to us.
e. Exercise Breaks
Incorporate 30 minutes of exercise each day that stretches the muscles and builds our level of fitness. Increased fitness improves blood flow and energy levels. It also increases mental ability by improving the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to the brain and generally helps us feel better about ourselves.
How to Balance Life?
These are some ideas to help create a balance between work and play, activity and rest. This balance is important to not only prolong an active life but to maximize productivity and personal achievement.
The only way to keep going and going well is by effectively learning how to balance life - how to rest and recharge.
Everyone needs to.
The important thing in learning how to balance life is -
to remember to work well ... rest well and ... "never the twain shall meet."