Updated: Jul 31, 2020
The sun is nearly setting on another year, yet it seems the pace of everyday life is increasing: jobs to get finished, frantic shopping imposed on us by the must-have greatest on-line deals and then of course the most fun of all, end of year parties to go to!
Part of me wants to join this time race and part of me wants to look forward to a new year with new goals and having renewed energy to start them. How do we marry the two up? The key for me is to schedule in some daily time of rest and silence.
The benefits of rest on body, brain and behaviour have been well documented. It may take the form of sleep, reading a good book, or just sitting on your balcony and watching life and the sky float by. Inevitably when we start to take a rest, though, our brain goes into overdrive thinking of outstanding tasks and to-do list that we haven’t finished yet. As meditators will say, it’s best not to force your thoughts to stop. Instead, give your brain something else to do - something more useful - like a deep conscious breath to divert it. For this purpose, the tip I’m giving you is to start to Reflect. Let your mind gently float back over all the things you have accomplished this year, some of the things you haven't as yet, and some things you’d like to celebrate or to let go of. Some highlights, as well as some disappointments may pop up, but float over it, try not to judge - just observe.
It may be handy to have a notebook and pen next to you when you schedule your silent rest time. When your 15 to 20 minutes are up (set the timer on your phone), jot down some highlights - things you want to do more of, things you are going to celebrate and even the things you weren’t too happy about: write them down. Voilà, here you have the beginnings of your goals for 2017! Now, isn’t that a refreshing thought in itself? A regular switch-off will unlock your dreaming potential!
Rest, Reflect and Replenish: these go hand in hand. The key is to schedule in your daily 20 minutes of silence and rest - if you have little kids in the house running around, have them join in with your “quiet time” instead of their dreaded sleep.
Here’s a checklist to make the time to rest and feel refreshed:
schedule a regular time of day
switch off the “pings” on your PC (in fact why not do this permanently?)
have a notebook and pen next to you
use the timer app on your phone
book a quiet comfy chair
shut your office door, declare a “cone of silence” over your office space, or declare “quiet time” on your kids (if you fix the same time daily, they will start to crave for it!)
close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and let your mind roam back, pause and reflect
The key to all of this is YOU. You need to make the decision to give yourself the gift of daily rest - and while you are at it, it’s the best gift to give others too.