In our busy work lives, there is a conspicuous absence of scheduled blocks
of planned fun or down time. To cope with overload, we might give up coffee,
or take up yoga, or plan a weekly regimen at the gym, but we seldom make time
to do... nothing. Yet it's hard to think clearly and feel relaxed when we're
in the midst of a whirlwind of activity. Once in a while, we just have to
break the routine.
In medical terms, this is called ‘constructive rest’. In the morning, instead
of cozying up to a coffee and the news, try sitting in silence for several
minutes. On the weekends, plan things to look forward to, and leave your work
at the office. Regularly plan time to connect with other people. Arrange something
fun or creative or rejuvenating to do, something that will engage your passion
and re-energize your spirit.
Taking yourself away from your normal environment for a personal retreat
is something I highly recommend - time to be quiet, to think and relax, without
the constant interference of TV, telephone and the Internet. You'll find that
you come back clear-headed and refreshed, and your work time will be more
efficient and productive.
Take time out for regular renewal several times a year for a day, a weekend,
a week, or ideally, several weeks – for a vacation, a retreat, or an adventure.
The result will be greater effectiveness with less effort. As you become more
comfortable with this process, you will notice that working longer and harder
is actually counter-productive.
Passion is part of the self-renewed life, so try regularly to engage in
activities you’re passionate about to feel rejuvenated and inspired. Focus
on your self-care, and let go of the guilt of getting your own needs met before
others, as it is only by caring for yourself that you have the energy to care
for others and to do your best work.
Take the time you need to rejuvenate, to clear your head and get off the
treadmill of busynesss - for this is the only life you’ll have. Give yourself
Make self-renewal and constructive rest an integral part of your schedule
by incorporating these ideas into your regular routine:
- plan a quiet morning routine to set an intention and mood for the day;
- leave your work at the office at the end of each day and week;
- give yourself a break from the constant stress of responding to others
by scheduling a personal retreat - time to be quiet, to think and relax,
without the constant interference of TV, telephone and the Internet;
- perform a routine activity more slowly and mindfully to experience the
joy of the present moment;
- plan fun, creative, or energizing things to do at least one day on the
weekend; make it a priority to connect with other people to share a meal
or an activity;
- re-energize your spirit by regularly engaging in activities you’re passionate
- schedule blocks of time for regular renewal – a vacation, a retreat,
an adventure; – each week: a morning or afternoon, a day, a weekend;
- make sure you take regular holidays!