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Tag: rest

Naptime!

Ahh, nap time!  It’s an amazing time, right?

But how many of us get a chance to actually take advantage of a nap?  I bet it’s not many.  The unfortunate thing about this is, we might not be taking full advantage of the benefits of taking a nap.

So what are the benefits?  There are actually a lot.  For starters, naps can restore and increase alertness.  You know that feeling when you just can’t use your brain anymore and want to turn it off?  That’s the point when your brain is not alert anymore and needs to rest.  Think of your brain like a muscle.  When a muscle gets tired or sore, it needs to rest.  When you take a nap, you’re resting your brain and helping it come back to normal.  According to a study by NASA, even just a 40-minute nap can increase alertness back up to 100%!

Another benefit of taking naps is that performance can be enhanced and mistakes and accidents can be reduced.  In that same study by NASA, the astronauts improved performance by 34%.  It’s a small increase, but hey, it’s an increase!  When you’re at work and you get that “2 o’clock feeling”, you just want to go lie down for awhile, right?  I get that feeling regularly and I know by just taking a 15 to 20-minute rest I’ll be able to bring myself back into focus and keep working.

The third benefit, and my personal favorite, is all about the psychology.  A nap can be seen as a luxury or a mini-vacation.  A lot of people don’t have the time or money for luxurious vacations, but a nap might be the next best thing.  It can be a quick way to get in some relaxation and rejuvenation.  When you give yourself time to take a nap, you’re allowing yourself to get some extra rest.  Maybe the rest you need to keep pushing through the day.  And even though it’s quick, you might even get a chance to dream of that luxurious vacation.

Why am I bringing up naps?  Because it’s getting closer to the holidays and it’s the perfect time to start making a habit of taking naps, even if it’s just on the weekend.  Whether you take a spontaneous nap or schedule one, it can be a good thing!  You might need that extra time for yourself and the extra rest to get through the rest of the year.  When are you going to take your next nap?

Is Vacation Mode Good or Bad?

While I’ve been on vacation, I’ve noticed something about the way I feel.  Yes, I’m calm and relaxed and I’m having fun, but my body is not in love with Island Time.  Let’s just say, my stomach has been in knots for two days now.  I’ve been trying to figure out if I hate something that didn’t agree with me or if I drank something I wasn’t in love with, and I think I figured it out.  But even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to make myself well again instantaneously.   And this whole thought got me thinking…

 Is Vacation Mode really the best thing for our bodies?

For me, it’s not.  I tried to stick to my routine by bringing my workout gear and going for a run.  That helped, but the food I’ve been eating and the beverages I’ve been having are not what I’m used to.  Good food, don’t get me wrong, but not what I eat on a daily basis.  So let’s talk about Vacation Mode and I’ll share my experience, which may be yours too.

Vacation Mode is what happens when we go on vacation, put ourself on autopilot, relax and become a lot more carefree.  When someone is in vacation mode, they tend to be a little more lax on what they eat and drink and go outside of their normal routine.  Some even forgo their workouts while they are in Vacation Mode because they feel they deserve a break.  All of these statements above include myself, to a certain extent.  In the past, I would never care about what I did on vacation because I was in Vacation Mode.  I would eat and drink whatever I wanted, I would not workout because I was on vacation and didn’t think I had to and would just forget all about my sleep.  Doing this over and over again led me to have the hardest time getting out of Vacation Mode when I got back to reality.

Now, after having my stomach in knots for two days now, I’ve realized that Vacation Mode has it’s good points and it’s bad ones too.  The good points include:

  • Knowing you might be able to relax
  • No work for X number of days
  • Less stress, if any at all
  • Great tasting food and drinks
  • Trying out a new place, or one you love

But Vacation Mode for has bad points too:

  • Eating too much or food that is too rich
  • Drinking too much
  • Getting less sleep than you normally do
  • You’re not in your own bed
  • Working out may not even be in the agenda

Now, I’m sure you can name other pros and cons for Vacation Mode.  I’d love to see your pros and cons in the comments below.  But let’s really answer the question asked earlier.  Is Vacation Mode good or bad?  I think it can go both ways.  I love vacation mode, but I think in order to keep myself somewhat normal, I need to workout regularly, I need to eat the same or similar foods that I would at home and I need to make sure I’m drinking enough water and going to bed at a decent time.  But for now, I’m still going to enjoy when I’m in Vacation Mode and slowly but surely work toward a life I don’t have to take a vacation from.  Even better, right?

If you need help getting out of Vacation Mode, follow these three tips I have that just might help you unwind and get back to your normal routine quicker than usual.

Burnout is a REAL thing!

One thing I’ve been noticing lately (a lot lately) is how the American population tends to always be on the go all the time, with no rest or relaxation.  I see my friends and family always on the go.  Whether they’re working at their 9-5, participating in family obligations or just doing meaningless activities that don’t necessarily add value to their lives, everyone seems to be busy all the time.  Even as a health coach, I tend to be this way from time to time too.  But what exactly is “busy”?  While everyone defines busy differently, one thing I know is that we all can experience burnout from being busy.

When I started to research this burnout that I’ve been experience, I’ve always been told to go to the doctor and get treated.  But no one has ever told me to just take a day and relax.  Strange, isn’t it?!  As a holistic health coach, I’m a big proponent for treating things naturally rather than popping a pill because the pill does not necessarily treat the actual reason for the condition, it just treats the symptoms.  This is one of the reasons I ask “Why” all the time.  I like to get to the bottom of things rather than jumping to conclusions.

I’ve started to research this burnout phenomenon and one interesting article I found was a comparison to the United States and Europe.  The article was an eye opener into the different cultures and how people living in the United States live very differently from those living in Europe.  The article gives 10 differences between the United States and Europe, but here are my biggest eye openers:

  1. Vacation – Most Europeans have a minimum of 4 weeks vacation and many take this time all at once rather than a few days at a time.
  2. Lunch Time – Europeans actually leave their desks during lunch time and many for an hour or more.
  3. Smaller Food Portions – The food portions in the United States are enormous compared to Europe.  For comparison’s sake, a small soda or coffee in the United States is like a large in Europe.

These three stuck out to me because the directly effect stress and how we feel about ourselves.  The note about lunch time is HUGE for me because at my full time job, I literally never leave my desk because I know how much there is to do and how much pressure is on me to reach the goals set for me by the company.  Can you imagine a goal set on just one person to capture millions of dollars in savings in just one year?  Yea, talk about pressure.

Here’s my call to action for you:

**Take time to rest and recover, even if it’s just a little time each week. ** 

I want you to do this a little bit at a time, baby steps, because it will help you.  Be mindful with your decisions and how you make your choices in life because in the end, they will effect your stress level.

Listen to Your Body…It Knows What It’s Talking About

Ever heard someone tell you to listen to your body?  Yup, I have heard that all the time.  Yet, how often do we really listen to it?!  Not much, I bet.

I am one of those people that don’t listen to it often and sometimes it kicks me in the boo-tay!  Let me give you an example…

A while ago, for the first time that I can ever remember, my lymph nodes under my chin swelled up.  Like I’m talking the size of grapes.  They hurt, it was sensitive to the touch and I literally felt exhausted all the time.  Instead of working out like I normally do, I decided to listen to my body.  It was probably the best thing for me too because I found out I had some sort of infection going on.  This was a wake up call for me because it was my body’s way of telling me to slow down.

For me, life is always crazy busy.  Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t.  I work a full time job with an hour and a half commute every day, I’m a part time health coach and a part time Stylist with Stella & Dot.  I also have a house to run, we’re trying to start a family and I want to make time for my friends and family.  My time is thin but I love supporting people, volunteering my time and energy and giving my all.  But sometimes, I need to take a step back and remember that I matter too.

My husband calls it “Pell Mell” when you’re pushing the pedal to the metal and going 120 in a 65 mile per hour zone.  I tend to push it a little too hard and you might too.  Sometimes taking more than just one rest day is ok.  Most of us want everything life has to offer, but make sure to take a second and see the bigger picture.  Is it worth it to go Pell Mell just to make yourself stressed out and sick?  I say no.

Moral of my story…take a day for YOU every now and then.  It will help you relax, recover and be ready to support the people around you again with a fresh sense of stability.  What does your next YOU day look like?

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