This is one those subjects that is much easier to talk about than to do – well it is for me!

I am a keen runner and triathlete – though I can’t do triathlons at the moment due to lockdown. However, in the past I have run Edinburgh Marathon and done a half Ironman. For both of these I needed:

  • complex training plans
  • a diet regime to follow (enough carbs for long runs or cycles, enough protein for muscle rebuilding post exercise etc etc)
  • good techniques to ensure a maximum output for minimum input!
  • well serviced & good fitting equipment (wetsuit, bike, shoes etc) and
  • the understanding that rest is an important part of training (to allow muscle recovery & re-building)!!

So, I am able to incorporate “rest” into my exercise plans, but I really do find it harder to do in my everyday life…

If I relax and read a good book, if I sit and complete a puzzle, I feel like I am not achieving! I find it hard to stop and do nothing – I’m sort of all or nothing – on the go or asleep 😴

But I have found out (the hard way) that actually I do need to allow my body, mind and spirit to “rest”. I try each week to take time to sit or walk and simply “be” – after all we are human “beings”, not human “doings”. Taking time to connect with your yourself, your local outdoors and to allow your brain to switch off is the best tonic you can give yourself.

I choose one day a week where there is nothing really pre-planned in my diary. I am free to do or not do as I wish. Reading a book isn’t seen as a luxury, having a lie in is totally encouraged and calling up a friend on the spur of the moment is acceptable, but not obligatory. And playing board games is just fun :)

Have a think about how you spend your time off? Do you rush around and catch-up, or do you allow yourself real time to re-charge? To be really effective in your life, learning how to rest and relax is just as important as learning how to get up and go!

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