Our southern hemisphere tradition of time off work, school and other commitments are ideal for providing us with a block of time to recharge. It can also be a busy time in different ways – more social and family commitments as well as holiday travel and home DIY projects. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you maximise your recovery time:
- Sleep well – give your brain and body the best repair and rejuvenation. Use relaxation exercises, baths, herbal teas and light reading to wind down ready for a deep sleep.
- Eat well – choose the most nutritious foods you can as often as you can. Carry plenty of nutrient high, energy-enhancing snacks with you and stay away from the processed energy sapping choices.
- Move more – be as active as you can, as often as you can. Enjoy being active outdoors and choose your favourite ways to move. Reward yourself for extra effort and aim to do something every day even if you don’t feel like it.
- Practice mindfulness – be fully present in whatever you are doing. Try eating, driving, walking or breathing mindfully. When your thoughts wander, bring them back to whatever you are doing in the present.
- Pay attention to your breathing – check you are breathing from your diaphragm (belly breathing) not your chest. This helps to keep your body and mind in a calm recovery state rather than a frantic one.
- Take a technology break. Try an experiment for yourself – see how long you can go with your various devices turned off? Can you manage 5 minutes? 30 minutes? You may even want to throw yourself in the deep end and go cold turkey for a few days – or weeks?
- Increase your experiences of positive emotion – think of something that makes you feel good or do something that helps you feel grateful, or calm, or happy or satisfied. Positive emotions recharge us physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Practice habits rather than set goals- habits require less cognitive effort. Use routine, repetition and reward to strengthen habits and make them stick.