The Importance Of Downtime

Do you make time to relax?  Is stopping and resting a part of your daily/weekly practice? By relaxing I am referring to freeing your mind, suspending mental pressures and experiencing some guilt-free chilling time.  I would urge you to find a little time…at the very least try.

Finding time to relax may seem counter intuitive to busy people because of the fact that they are, for lack of a better word, busy.  Parents with young children that require attention and entertaining, people working to make ends meet, caregivers,  students with never-ending deadlines etc. are BUSY.  Stopping to rest may seem too nonsensical for someone with an endless to do list.  However, numerous studies have shown that the adequately rested person is actually more productive than the one burning the candle at both ends.

Despite your busyness, it is possible to carve out little snippets of time to relax for the sake of your mental and physical wellness.

These 4 suggestions can help motivate you to start incorporating more downtime into your life.

1.  Make a to-do list

Actually get out a pen and paper or your notes app on your phone and itemize all the things you need to do.

Rather than having all the tasks swirling in your head, writing them down can actually lessen the pressure and make you feel more organized and in control.  Feeling in control is always good.

2. Organize tasks by priority

Organizing your tasks in order of importance provides you with a visual of what actually needs to get done today or now or in the next hour.

There are always things we need to do or should do that can wait.  Cleaning the toilet as an example, can wait –  going to get groceries cannot.

3. Do a 15 minute tidy

Clarity of space leads to clarity of mind. Spending just a few minutes tidying, putting away and clearing can greatly contribute to a feeling of being ahead rather than lagging behind.  When your eyes can see order, your body and brain follow suit.  You will immediately feel less overwhelmed.

4. Select your downtime

Now is the time to choose when you are going to rest and what your activity  or non-activity will be.  It could be sitting with a book, coffee or tea and quiet time, a cat nap,  a walk in nature or whatever brings your soul to a place of calm.  This is your time.  You get to choose how to spend it.  The key here is that whatever you choose has to allow you reconnect with yourself and temporarily remove you from your daily grind.  Could be 15 minutes, could be 3 hours….whatever you can get and do to rebalance yourself.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes.

Including you…

In my experience, when I have not made the effort to take the time to rest, I become depleted and irritated.   Being in a state of irritation doesn’t serve anyone, least of all myself.  I recognize that I have surpassed my energy limit and I need to stop and take a breather.  I need to conserve my physical and mental energy for things that bring me joy and happiness.  All work and no play make for a salty Susie (millennial speak for sassy and sarcastic).

I encourage you to regard your downtime as important as any other self-care ritual that you do.  You need not feel guilty for carving out this time for yourself. Let your loved ones know what you need to be better for yourself and for them.  Wellness is an inside job.

Sometimes the most productive thing you can to is relax.

Happy chilling!


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