Why Prioritizing Downtime is Key to Your Health and Wellbeing

Why Prioritizing Downtime is Key to Your Health and WellbeingTaking mental breaks throughout the day (when you’re not learning new information or solving a problem) helps boost your mood, performance, and ability to focus, as reported by Cleveland Clinic academics.

When you don’t give your mind a chance to pause and rest, it simply doesn’t function as efficiently, and the result may be burnout and a myriad of stress-related health problems.

Taking a break doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. In fact, anything you find to be enjoyable, a tension breaker, or the opposite of “work” classifies as downtime. Plus – believe it or not – playing games like Tetris on your phone, or chatting with someone on social media – also counts as downtime.

I’m writing this article all about downtime because as the founder of  The Anxiety Cure Online Course – and a nationally recognized Master Mindset CoachI regularly recommend to my clients and students that they prioritize downtime.

So I decided to put together this article all about how to prioritize downtime – because it’s a true key to your health and wellbeing

Prioritizing and Scheduling Downtime is Vital

If you don’t schedule your daily breaks, you can end up not having them at all. In fact, around 50 percent of Americans have scheduling issues. They tend to leave important activities such as sleep and rest to chance, and as a result, they develop high levels of stress, or feel fatigued.

If you’re a busy worker who clocks in long days in the office or as a telecommuter, take note; scheduling your break time is vital. If you can fill your schedule with meaningful activities, all the better.

Be as detailed as possible.

For instance, you might aim to read 12 books a year, If so, plan which book you will read each month. Ensure you have a good mix of fiction and non-fiction books, so variety is ensured.

  • If you have been wanting to end negative thinking and bad patterns, my How To Be Happy Dammit Ebook is a great time investment.
  • And if thrillers are your thing, Stephen King’s latest gem, Fairy Tale, will be perfect.
  • For many readers, poetry can also be deeply relaxing.
  • Meanwhile, reading books by Mary Oliver will help you feel more grateful and more in touch with your inner self.

The Power of Mindfulness

downtime thoughtsIf you find that you can’t disconnect when you clock off from work, mindfulness-based activities like meditation and yoga can help free your mind of worrisome thoughts.

Mindfulness does not involve repressing difficult emotions, but rather, acknowledging and accepting them, without letting them define you.

Numerous studies have shown that meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and controlled breathing all successfully lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Just a few minutes of mindfulness practice can put you more in the mood to take part in the hobbies that fulfil and reinvigorate you.

Embracing Flexibility

Despite your best intentions, on some days, you find it hard to get away, or you may not be able to stick to the schedule you have set. Be easy on yourself, and take a flexible approach to downtime. If you have to work extra hours one day, try to give yourself a bigger break the next day. Be patient with yourself if you spend too much time on your smartphone one day, or you end up taking a long call from a friend in need. You will always have a need for downtime, and you can learn to be more constant when it comes to satisfying this need.

Many Americans simply don’t get enough time to sleep or even enjoy regular breaks. Because downtime is important for your brain health and an important means of stress relief, setting time aside for it is vital. So, too, is choosing activities that will keep you motivated to stick to a routine as strictly as you reasonably can.

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