Relax, reflect and rejuvenate for 2018
Winter is a time for resting up. Animals hibernate. And we also need to take it easier than at other times of year. In the height of summer, we have more than 18 hours of full daylight. In peak winter days, like now it is less than 8 hours. Naturally, we need more rest and sleep. We have less sun and daylight to energize us.
Much of what we do in modern life to apparently relax is more of distraction than true relaxation. True relaxation happens when the body and mind relaxes. In the same way that a machine cannot run 24-7, neither can we. A machine that runs 24-7 eventually breaks down. The equivalent also happens to us. Without rest and relaxation, at best performance levels reduce. We miss out on growth. We start to function like machines. Creativity suffers. We stop feeling joy and happiness and miss the magic of the moment. We live in our heads. Life feels more burdensome and we run the risk of ill-health and burn out.
If you want to get the best out of yourself in 2018 or in any given day of the year, it is important to use your mind in the most resourceful way. It works best with positive thoughts and like a parachute when open. But it also needs a rest daily. As your most important asset and the sat-nav of your future life and destiny, it should be cared for well.
This is also a time when people plan new year's resolutions, most of which relate to some aspect of wellbeing. We look within and reflect. Rest and relaxation are a big part of wellbeing.
If you are planning positive changes for 2018, make them reasonable - not too demanding given your lower energy levels. Most resolutions fail because we do not change our mind-set. We expect change without any change in our underlying thinking.
It is consistency that brings transformation. Consistent small changes result in big changes over time. In the same way that crash diets don't generally lead to sustained weight loss, it is hard to maintain what starts out as big changes. Small changes are easy to apply, integrate and sustain. Confidence grows steadily when we are consistent.
Take some time this week to reflect on what small changes you can make for big results for you in 2018. And make rest and relaxation part of your 2018 routine too. Science and high-performance athletes are all showing us how rest is a key part of success. The breaks make the heights we can achieve even greater. The same applies to study, business and life. We get our best ideas and solutions to problems when our mind is focused on something else.
A few great ways to relax are to take a short walk or do a short meditation session or even read some lines from an inspiring book.
Closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for a few minutes works wonders. Other great ways are to have some alone time or connect with nature. There are so many ways to find the off-button and relieve stress. Different things work for different people. What is important is that you find what works for you. Taking a rest and time out is not just for this time of year but for every day.
When people are well, they do well. If you want to 2018 to be your best year yet and who doesn't, it is important you take your own wellbeing seriously in mind body and spirit. Rest is a key part of that. Enjoy!