I think we complain about not having enough downtime, the same way we complain about lack of time and energy, being stressed and overwhelmed, and lacking motivation.
The good news is, that once we allow more downtime in our lives, the other parts will fall into place. How?
The benefits of relaxation are endless, but I don’t want to list the benefits. I want to shift your perspective that rest is essential for you to stay healthy, not for your health to benefit from it. It is not something luxurious, that only some of us are entitled to. No, downtime is a part of your optimal health and wellness, and it is one of the easiest ways to prevent an offset of an illness.
In today’s blog post I want to shine some light on why it is so hard to rest and I will give you 3 easy tips to have some downtime not only this coming Festive season but way beyond it. Remember lack of time is not a reason to skip on downtime. And that is why I created this free downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet to make sure you have plenty of time to rest!
Why we don’t allow ourselves enough downtime
I would like to make a statement that we don’t allow enough downtime in our busy lives, but then I am going to be asked what it means ‘enough’? Allowing rest time shouldn’t even be a question of enough. You were not created to perform like a machine, at 100%, 7 days a week for 24 hours a day. To simply function at the best of your capabilities, you need downtime.
I am a strong believer in recovery time. I always bring the image of athletes when I talk about recovery time. Athletes train very hard for a season, then they perform and have recovery time. They know that without recovery time, they can’t win.
It goes the same for the rest of us, not training for the Olympics. Our days are getting more stressful, busier, there are more demands on our focus, creativity, productivity, and the ways we deliver. You work very hard throughout the day. Why don’t you allow some recovery time for your tired body and mind at the end of the day?
We often fall back on the same old excuses: lack of time, more work that needs to be done, who is going to look after the kids or do the chores around the house, there is so much to do that I can’t possibly be sitting now! But you see, those are all excuses on the surface. Deep down, you are not scheduling the downtime you know you need, because you don’t believe you deserve it.
I know how you are feeling now. There are certain emotions bubbling to the surface. I get it. I know those feelings because when I realised that the concept of deserving was behind me lacking rest time, I got angry.
But it makes sense. We are more critical and judgmental towards ourselves than others. You would tell your friend to take it easy, you would tell your significant other to relax and watch some TV, you would tell your kids to go and play. Why can’t you do the same for yourself? Why is it so hard to give ourselves permission to relax?
The concept of deserving and giving permission has been with us most likely since childhood. Therefore, getting to the bottom of it, and re-writing our story can be the breakthrough you need. But for now, I want to tell you that no matter your beliefs, your perception, you deserve to rest. Simply, because you are human, and you need it for your optimal health and wellness. So, how do you do it?
#1 Schedule it
I know that if you don’t schedule something it won’t happen. After all, when you go on holiday you schedule that too. You need to consciously plan when you will have your downtime. For your optimal health and wellness, you need to rest every day, in whatever form you can. If this is not feasible, schedule a weekly time when you block the space so nobody else and nothing else can take it.
#2 Delegate it
No, not your downtime. Delegate some tasks. For me, the biggest feeling I used to have when I scheduled downtime was guilt. It was guilt that there were things that needed to be done, and I was not doing them. If you feel like you can’t relax now, because something needs to be done, check with yourself how rational it is. Can the task wait for another week? Or maybe it doesn’t need to be completed by you, and somebody else can do it? Once you clean your plate, it will become so much easier to relax. Sometimes we are afraid to ask for help, but it is exactly what the situation calls for.
#3 Create boundaries
As with any festive season, we may feel stressed. The list of things we need to get, cook, prepare, organise grows by the minute. But ask yourself why are you doing it all? Most of the time, we do things out of obligation. And we say too many ‘yeses’ when in fact we should be saying no.
You need strong boundaries around your time, energy, people, and yourself. You will still be the perfect host, even though your pavlova is not perfect. You will still be the perfect spouse even though the house is not spotless, and you will be the perfect Mum even though you put up the Christmas tree on the 20th of December and not the 1st.
Creating boundaries may seem hard to some, but I would invite you to tap into your story of deserving. What can you say no to, that you are saying yes to and it doesn’t serve you?
Downtime is not some luxury reserved for the privileged few. Downtime is vital to your optimal health and wellness. It is as the saying goes: you can’t give from an empty cup. And the less downtime you have, the more tired, unmotivated, and stressed you will be.
If you want to win the day, perform at your best, you need recovery time.
If scheduling some rest time seems like a hard task, I would like you to tap into your story of deserving. Are you saying to yourself that you deserve to have rest? Or are you saying that there are so many things you need to attend to that you don’t deserve to rest? Once you shift your story, having downtime becomes that much easier.
But don’t just say you will have it. Schedule it. If it is not on your calendar, it is not going to happen. There are so many competing tasks for your time that if you don’t schedule something, it won’t happen.
Sometimes asking for help, can free up your time and your mind. If you worry that all those things need doing, see what can be delegated. Not everything needs to be done right now and by you.
Make sure that what you say yes to, serves you. When we take on too many things which don’t fulfill us, we are lacking boundaries. Creating healthy boundaries with time, energy, people, and self will increase your self-efficacy and will show you that you deserve to have downtime.
Remember lack of time is not a reason to skip on downtime. Grab your free downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet to make sure you have plenty of time to rest!
Having problems with managing your stress? Go on: www.annadoktor.com.au to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.
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