To some, downtime or relaxation are seen as dirty words. Ones for not doing anything, or laziness. We may often say that there isn’t enough time in the day to relax.
Well you have to make the time.
You can’t survive without sleeping, eating or drinking. And you can’t survive without relaxing. Well, not very well, anyway. You’d just be existing. And we weren’t born to just simply exist.
It’s not naughty or skiving. It’s not neglecting your duties.
Downtime is joy whilst stress is pain. And we don’t want the latter.
No matter how crazy your day is with the endless lists of tasks to fulfil, tight strict deadlines to adhere to, massive projects to undertake, you need to create a moment of peace for yourself where time stands still.
Transport yourself to an oasis of calm. This can be as simple as leaving a room where stress is emanating from. And if you can’t possibly do it physically? Check out for a few minutes mentally.
Schedule it in your diary if necessary.
Five minutes, a few times a day.
Half an hour.
As much as you can do.
There are so many reasons for downtime. Here are just a few of them:
1. Downtime helps us to reenergise
There is only so long you can function at your optimum before your levels start to deplete rapidly. You push and push yourself to the point of exhaustion and like a glutton for punishment push yourself some more. Maybe you are making matters worse by not eating or sleeping properly. Then you start to feel under the weather and before you know it, you are ill. You feel rundown, groggy and horrid. Your body and brain need a timeout. If you refuse to listen to what they are saying, then they will force you to. Relaxation helps our bodies and brains to repair themselves and help keep us in peak condition.
2. Downtime helps us to remain calm
Stress creates sorrow and sickness. Stress after a certain time can dramatically reduce our performance and skew our perceptions. When we are mentally drained we make mistakes and then panic over those errors we have made. Downtime is a tactical retreat which helps us to preserve our sanity, provide a welcome distraction and help us remain as cool as a cucumber in the midst of chaos!
3. Downtime increases creativity
The less stressed you are, the more able you are to think outside of the box. Our creative juices love to flow when we are in a relaxed state.
4. Downtime causes less risk of skin breakouts
This is awful and I speak from experience (though now thankfully, this is much less of an issue). Your stress levels lead you to have a skin breakout (be it acne, spots, eczema, psoriasis etc.) which leads to you stressing about your appearance. Relax as much as possible to keep this cycle at bay.
5. Downtime helps you to solve problems
No one wants to remain under intense pressure like a tightly-coiled spring. The stress of it can be crippling, and before long we can start to make some unwise decisions. Relaxation helps us to take a grateful step back from inside the oppressive pressure cooker so we can look at things more objectively. The greatest viewpoint is from farther away, after all.
6. Downtime rewards our hard work and effort
What is the point in working hard if you can’t even enjoy yourself and have some ‘me time’ afterwards? It gives you a well-deserved break and sets you up for the next mountain to conquer!
Downtime is a must. Be sure to get yours!