De-stress and Build Resources with Rest and Recreation

Taking a holiday is generally recognised as a way to de-stress and recharge your batteries, but dropping everything and going away is not always possible. You can however create the essence of a vacation with many of the associated benefits, more or less when you need it.

A holiday is a break away from your every day routine. It gives you permission to relax and do things only when you want to do them. It's time to put yourself first, do your own thing, a time for novelty and new experiences. Often it's a time for being rather than doing.

So let's look at how you can de-stress by bringing that holiday feeling into your daily life.

Take a Break

When you are working or engaged in the same activity for a length of time, think of changing the energy by taking a short break here and there. Put what you are doing on one side for a minute or two of relaxation. Take a lunch break, however short this may have to be, rather than working as you eat. Look out of the window, make a drink, stand up and stretch if you've been sitting for a long time.

Taking a breather refreshes and improves your concentration. It clears the mind and enables you to work more efficiently. By taking short breaks you will keep fresher and you'll get more done in the long run. Most importantly, it prevents stress building up, keeps you on top of the task, more in control, more confident.

Maximise your Spare Time

De-stress yourself by fitting a mini holiday into your day off by doing something novel or new. Go to a new place, meet new people, learn a new skill. The stimulation of new experiences can give you a whole new perspective on your life as well as refreshing you. The change is relaxing and boosts your level of resource.

Learn how activities can make you more adaptable and able to cope with change.

Health Warning!

Beware saying "I'm too busy to take time off". Not making time for rest and recreation is bad for your health and it's bad for you. It's highly self destructive. Avoid getting to the point where you feel driven, at all costs.

If you do not give yourself sufficient rest and recreation, your body will eventually disable you to make you stop.

Be Thankful

Here is another way of building your resources and inoculating yourself against the wear and tear of life. It can take only seconds to think about your blessings and be thankful for -

  • All the people in your life who are kind and helpful to you, supportive of you, love you or treat you with respect.
  • The security you have in the form of having a roof over your head, the food you eat, your work, the means to meet your needs.
  • Your personal gifts and abilities
  • Happy memories

Reminding yourself of what's good in your life has a de-stressing and supportive effect. Taking time to acknowledge your blessings enables you to feel that your situation is actually better than you thought, and that you have the strength to deal with it.

Going to sleep on these kinds of thoughts and a feeling of thankfulness helps you to relax and rest more deeply, and awake resourced the next morning.

Notice Beauty

You can also de-stress and increase your ability to cope by appreciating the beauty around you. Look out of the window sometimes or go for a walk, and drink in everything that is pleasing and beautiful to you. It's like putting spiritual food into your system.

You can also look for and appreciate things that are striking, interesting, quirky, or humorous - as long as they create a positive response in you.

We are all different. My husband and I look at a tatty barn. I adore the deep red rust on the metal panels and see a work of art. My husband sees dilapidation and a picture of decay. Don't be swayed by what others like or what you think you ought to enjoy. Go for the things that YOU can appreciate.

Be in the Moment

Have you ever been so completely focussed and involved with something that past and future ceased to exist, and afterwards found that more time than you realised had flown by?

If you've had that experience, you also probably noticed that you felt good when you finished and your energy level was high, rather than depleted. You may also have found that a minor ailment you had at the beginning magically disappeared.

Allowing yourself to be distracted and your energy scattered, reduces your effectiveness, makes you more tired and prone to stress. By focussing and being in the moment you conserve your energy and generate a feel-good factor while you work.

Learn to Relax

If relaxation does not come naturally to you, consider learning how to do it. This could be the antidote you are looking for and the most important new skill you ever developed. Click here to find out about the art of relaxation and how to do it.

De-stress yourself and build your resources by making these simple changes and you'll soon notice a big difference to how you feel and how you cope.

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