The magic of rest

Taking a break can have positive impacts on productivity.

Having a regular break in any activity is good.

Having a regular break in any activity is good.

When I was at school I the teachers told me to take breaks between periods of revision for exams, the idea being that the brain given the time will retain the information learnt more effectively.  As a top regional athlete my coaches advised me  to take rest days each week to allow my body to rebuild after the strains of intensive training.

Rest days are good to recharge your batteries, to allow your body and mind the opportunity to renew itself.  Even amongst sources advising how to de-clutter is the advice to take regular breaks.

Burn out is probably one of the worst results of overdoing anything, the rules of sustainability are as relevant to the human mind and body as it is to business and the environment.  You need time to renew your mind and body through regular rest periods.

I notice that after being away from blogging a period of time how bubbling with ideas I am on what to write about on my return.  After a few weeks of posting once a day I start becoming less effective in my writing.   I am going to experiment with rest breaks across many areas of my life.  Around the third week of each month I shall take a few days off from blogging to see how this impacts my writing.

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16 responses to “The magic of rest

  1. Alex, I started taking weekends off from blogging. It has helped tremendously, I too have more fresh ideas and come back refreshed after a short break.

    • I am glad you have seen positive results from this. Society wants everyone to be busy 24/7 with no rest, which undermines prosperity rather than boosts it.

  2. This is certainly something I should try to do more.

  3. I like this post! Thanks for sharing it. It reminded me of a book I read recently called “The Artist’s Way,” which talks about the steps to sustainable creativity through a kind of spiritual approach and in it, it talked about taking “artist’s date’s” with yourself every once in awhile- a break of sorts to feed your brain. I definitely find it useful. Today, I took a free tour of the city I had not yet been on and it was just a little two hour break from illustrating, but coming back to working I just felt so much more invigorated! Sometimes it’s as simple as drinking a bottle of wine and painting in the middle of the night. For me a break isn’t necessarily stopping work and turning on the TV, but of playing and indulging in the things I really love to do so I can get back to the work I love inspired. Just had to share all the things your post brought to my mind!

    • You make some great points Originaltitle, which I totally agree with and I do myself. As an athlete I did what was called cross-training on some of my rest days, a different form of exercise for instance swimming or cycling. This form of rest through doing an alternative activity uses different areas of the brain, and so it both stimulates the mind as well as allowing other parts of the brain to rest. Thanks for your great contribution 🙂

  4. Wow! This pulled a chord over here! Because I was recently grumbling to my doctor, who only practises using natural medicines, that I was aware of terrible short-term memory recall and, presumably, nothing could be done for that. (I’m 69 next birthday.)

    On the contrary, he replied. He went on to explain that the brain has to process every single sensory input received; obviously! Research is starting to show that our brains are being overloaded with information (smart phones, constant TV, email, web, blogging!!, et al.) As a consequence, the brain stops processing more than it can handle and much data is simply dumped. The young, especially, are vulnerable to this effect.

    However, this doctor said that taking half-an-hour each day to go somewhere and be still and quiet, in a very real sense meditation, can help. I’ve now been doing this for the last week and I think it is having a positive difference.

    Something else to learn from dogs! Think how they chill out so easily – got two of them asleep on the carpet next to me.

    Of course, the test will be whether or not I remember leaving this comment in a week’s time!

    • Hi Paul, it is surprising how stress and tiredness can quickly wreck your memory. I think you will see a big difference by following this new routine you are doing 🙂

  5. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] Rest is vital; without it there would be no balance.

    Just let us know in advance of your desired hiatus!

  6. Having taken a few trips out of the city recently, I had almost forgotten just how refreshing it can be! My time with nature is typically within the city. Lately I have taken to cuddling cats at a local no kill animal shelter. It is more entertaining than say, seeing a movie, so I make a donation every visit that matches the cost of a movie. This has been incredibly therapeutic for all!

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