Are you eternally tired – feeling exhausted all the time? Fatigue and mental exhaustion are one of the main causes of a lack of ambition and productivity. It’s important to learn how to relax both your body and your mind in order to be the best you can be both at home and work.
IvyPanda recently put together a list of eight tips to engage in effective rest and relaxation:
1. Get off of social media. Many people use social media as an escape, but it is not a healthy way to relax. It is filled with negative messaging. Your brain is not resting when you are watching any type of artificial stimulation such as social media or TV. In addition, it forces you to focus on others instead of yourself.
2. Exercise. Physical activity has many benefits: releases endorphins, boosts your confidence, enhances problem solving skills, reduces stress, and improves your health. Try to set time aside each day to focus on your physical health and get moving.
3. Go for a walk. Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind. It can increase productivity, improve your mood, and help with sleep.
4. Practice mindfulness. Large companies such as Target, Google, and General Mills have recently put a large focus on mindfulness – see January 5, 2021 EPTW article. Mindfulness is the human ability to be conscious of who we are and what’s happening to us at the moment. For example, when taking a walk try to only focus on that moment – the fresh air, the steps you take, etc.
5. Meditate. Meditation improves focus, well-being, stress management, life enjoyment, and self-awareness. There are many free apps out there to help you get started, but IvyPanda offers the following guide for one-minute meditation:
a. Close your eyes.
b. Place your arms on your lap.
c. Take deep breaths and listen to your breathing.
d. Focus your mind on the breathing. When you start to think of something else, refocus on the breathing.
e. Count each breath to prevent your mind from slipping.
6. Organize Your Workplace. Especially when working from home, it’s important to have an organized and dedicated workspace. Try to take breaks outside of that space throughout the day. Move to another room for snacks or lunch. Tips for an organized workspace include:
a. Organize your desk accessories and keep them to a minimum.
b. Follow the “one in, one out” rule. Put only those items on the desk that bring joy to you. That way, you’ll be inspired to work and keep your space clean and organized. To avoid clutter, when you add something new, take away something that is no longer bringing you joy.
c. Use a pin board to help keep loose papers from cluttering your desk.
7. Quit exhausting yourself. Overworking yourself will result in poor performance. Instead take breaks as you need to and call it day if you are no longer being productive or feel exhausted. Some signs of exhaustion include:
a. Physical – headache, insomnia, upset stomach
b. Emotional – lack of motivation, depression, apathy
c. Behavioral – poor work performance, inability to keep commitments, social isolation
8. Plan breaks. Taking breaks throughout your day is crucial for maintaining both your physical and mental health. It refreshes your brain, allows you to focus better, and helps to avoid burnout. There are apps for this too! Some popular ones are Time Out and Stand Up! The Work Break Timer.
It’s important to take care of yourself. Give your body the time it needs to rest physically and mentally. Make time in your day for YOU.
Additional ASE Resources
ASE Wellness Resources - Visit ASE's Wellness Resources page for more tips to improve your well-being.