It's not all about how hard you are working but more about the quality of your rest
When people ask you how you are, how often do you reply with “busy”, “under the pump”, “flat out”, or “time poor”?
We get these responses a lot and to be fair use them ourselves as well. Personally we like being busy and like having lots on my plate. However, we also like resting hard!
How hard do you rest each week and have you got your work rest balance sorted?
Simple rule is work hard – rest hard. The busier you are, the more stressed you are, then the more you need to rest and recover.
Rest can be broken down into three categories
1. Total rest and sleep2. Reduced Workload
3. ‘Me Time’
It is important to have all three types of rest in your life.
Total Rest and Sleep
2 hours before midnight is worth 4 hours of sleep after midnight to your body.
Our body follows a natural rhythm to light. We are meant to slow down, relax and get ready for bed as the sun sets and awake and get ready for the day as the sun rises.
Our stress hormones and repair hormones also go through a cycle throughout the day. Physical repair of the body generally happens between 10pm - 2am, and psychological repair occurs between 2am - 6am.
If you are experiencing high levels of physical stress – eg illness or long term injury you should go to bed at 10 – 10:30 pm at the latest.
If you are experiencing high levels of psychological stress make sure you that you don’t get up too early – ideally not before 6am.
If you have problems getting to sleep then we recommend putting together a sleep strategy and routine. This may include some of the following:
1. Get out in natural light – 30 mins up to and around lunch2. Dim the lights at home after dusk
3. Use essential oils in a diffuser (lavender)
4. Unplug (phones, laptops, tablets, TVs)
5. Use blue light blocking glasses if you have to use screens
6. Cool your bedroom. 18-20 degrees
7. Bedtime routine (I lay on my shakti mate and read for 20 mins before I go to sleep. Key is to find your routine).
8. Shower or bath before bed
9. Cover windows – the darker the better
Reducing workload is allowing the body to take some rest. It can be achieved by reducing the number of tasks you have in a day at work, the number of appointments you schedule, or your daily tasks. You are in control of this and may be surprised at how good you feel if you take some downtime.
If you are regularly exercising it can be achieved by scheduling a lighter week of exercise by reducing the length of time training or number of sessions. These low volume weeks are essential to allow your body to adapt to hard training. If you are training hard we recommend having a lighter training week every third or fourth week.
Me Time involves taking a total break from what you are doing to spend time with yourself. When we take the time for ourselves it helps us repair and heal. It may include getting outside for 10 minutes in the sunshine, reading a fictional book, meditating, taking a nice bath or chilling in the hot tub.
Even a short 5 minute “Me Time” break of total relaxation in the middle of your busy day will give you a great psychological and physical boost.
Over the month take the time to rest hard and see what difference it makes to your work-life balance. Put together a strategy that includes “total rest”, “reduced workload” and “me time”.
This strategy is low hanging fruit for your health and wellbeing. Small consistent changes will give you big returns.
So tomorrow we are going to show you a few hidden benefits of having a working in session...
Hint: this isn't just about exercise.
Yours in health and wellness,
Lisa and Neil
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Ps You will love our podcast “Pushing the Limits” where we have insane, world class guests on, who share their amazing knowledge on everything running, mindset, health and fitness, biohacking, nutrition and high performance.
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Pss and we think you will definitely get benefit out of this episode on Stress Management