As the new year dawns, commit to a new habit of regular, deep, juicy rest…
For many of us throughout the year, we tend to overcommit our time and energy beyond our capacity. We end up pushing ourselves through to the finish line – the glorious holiday period at the end of the year or into January, for the chance to take time out to indulge in some well-earned rest and relaxation.
As the end of the year appears on the horizon, we don’t mind the additional pressure, stress and strenuous effort. We seem happy to drop good habits including quality sleep, adequate rest, and of course, cutting corners on nutrition. We keep reminding ourselves that the well-deserved break is near. The last thing on the mind is slowing down – especially with a personal and professional schedule heaving with demands and deadlines.
However, when the end of the year arrives and the holiday period commences, we end up feeling completely exhausted from all the stress with little energy for our plans. Instead of feeling energised and refreshed, we’re feeling exhausted and fatigued and certainly not sufficiently rested and renewed to return to the daily grind anytime soon.
We had intentions of slowing down over the break, but not to the extent of feeling completely worn-out and almost broken. For many of us, we end up feeling burnt out or close to it. You reflect on this time last year… and interestingly, you are feeling the same.
We have become completely competent at overloading ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally and consequently depleting energy reserves through:
- Persisting with increasing workloads, duties, responsibilities or pushing through exercise without sufficient breaks or downtime
- Overindulging in the good times (food, alcohol, pleasure) causing stress on the body’s vital organs and systems
- Burning the candle at both ends to meet pressing deadlines at the cost of sufficient sleep and rest
- Compromising on the thing we value and protect, but we remind ourselves that it is only for the short-term
- Becoming overwhelmed by conflict, problems and stressors that have chipped away at the spirit leaving us feeling irritable and frustrated
- Allowing events to drain our resolve and the ability to bounce back in the face of challenges.
Instead, as 2018 is dawning and you are reflecting on your goals for the year ahead, take a pause…
Consider, how you will allow your body to rest deeply and renew to build and maintain good health, resilience and the ability to function at optimal levels throughout the entire year…and beyond?
Make a firm commitment for the next 12 months to manage and maintain your energy levels and achieve rest – deep rest and renewal. This solid foundation will enable you to create more balance, reduce stress and build your resilience to realise your important goals and reach your potential.
The following simple actions can provide you with the antidote to stress and overwhelm when practised regularly.
1. Centre your breath
Your physical and mental states are reflected in the breath. Under stress, breathing becomes short and shallow, when relaxed breathing is long and deep. To move between the rate, depth and quality of your breath and to relieve physical and mental states of anxiety, pressure and stress, direct your focus to your breath. The simple, deliberate act of slowing down your breathing improves circulation, reduces muscle tension, and shifts the focus from the busyness in your mind.
Place yourself in a comfortable position.
Take a long, slow, gentle inhalation through your nose for the count of six.
Follow the inhalation with a long, slow, gentle exhalation through your mouth for the count of six.
Take several cycles of breath in this manner until you feel refreshed.
2. Inner inventory
Taking stock of what your focus is on and how your body and mind are reacting brings your awareness to the present. It provides a welcome disruption to the racing mind and can be very grounding and calming.
Place yourself in a comfortable position, centre your breath and take an inventory of:
Emotions – what am I thinking, feeling or experiencing. Am I feeling stressed or calm?
Mental state – Where are my thoughts now? What thoughts can pass on by so I can regain focus on the things that matter
Physical – How am I feeling physically right now? Are my shoulders tense? My teeth clenched? Do I have a tension headache
Recognise what your body is feeling and use deep breathing to bring your attention to the tension and consciously breathe through to a state of calm.
3. Gentle resting poses for the body
Gentle physical pressure applied to your body’s tissues through stretching, twisting or compressing helps to rejuvenate the body through releasing toxins and waste products. This is the same way that an old sponge can be brought back to life with a little warm soapy water and some twisting and squeezing – the grime and grease are carried away.
If you don’t regularly stretch or practice a gentle form of yoga, try some simple restorative floor based forward bends, side bends, simple twists and the very nurturing child’s pose. Seal your practice with ‘savasana’ – a sweet surrender lying face up, palms up, and slow, relaxed, deep breathing.
Create a regular habit of deep rest and renewal
Your body holds deep intelligence to restore and renew. Through breath, intentional focus and gentle nurturing movement, you can communicate with your mind and your body to dial down the impacts of stress and pressure, and bring about states of calm and relaxation.
Are you ready to invest in rest to set yourself up for success in 2018?
The Deep Rest and Renewal Time-out 2018 will help you to decode simple secrets to enable you to access deep rest and set yourself up for success in 2018.
This profoundly nourishing experience will provide you with techniques to unwind, relax and de-stress to take the pressure off bodily functions for a mini-time out and repair.
Give yourself a juicy dose of ‘me-time’ to re-establish the deep connection to your mind and body to access states of deep rest and renewal. Join the Deep Rest and Renewal Time-out 2018 on Sunday 21 January 2018.