Within our previous Wisdom Note, we explored part three of our three-part series Wandering in the Wilderness by Faith. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please visit the blog to read past newsletters.
In today’s trek, we will explore 9 tips to relax and recharge. Most of us realize that regular relaxation is essential for a long life and personal effectiveness. The question is, if we know that, why don’t we make it a priority in our lives. I certainly am pointing my finger at myself on this one, so let us digest these nuggets of insight together. Here are some techniques for relaxing that are used by the most successful people in our fast-paced society of the western world.
1. Take Time Off Every Week
First of all, work only five or six days per week, and rest completely on the seventh day. Every single study in this area shows that you will be far more productive in the five or six days that you work if you take one or two days off completely than you ever would be if you worked straight through for seven days. Of course, God was the original designer of this concept as it declares in Genesis 2:1-3, “So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”
2. Get Your Mind Busy Elsewhere
During this time off, do not catch up on reports, organize your desk, prepare proposals, or do anything else that requires mental effort. Simply let your mind relax completely, and get busy doing things with your family and friends. Maybe work around the house, go for a walk, engage in physical exercise, watch television, go to a movie, or play with your children. Whatever you do, discipline yourself to shut your mental gears off completely for at least one 24-hour period every seven days.
3. Get Away on Mini-Vacations
Take one three-day vacation every three months, and during that time, refrain from doing any work. Do not attempt to catch up on even a few small things. If you do, you keep your mental gears in motion, and you end up neither resting nor properly doing work of any quality.
4. Take Big Chunks of Down Time
Take at least two full weeks off each year during which you do nothing that is work-related. You can either work or relax; you cannot do both. If you attempt to do a little work while you are on vacation, you never give your mental and emotional batteries a chance to recharge. You’ll come back from your vacation just as tired as you were when you left.
5. Give Yourself a Break Today
If you are involved in a difficult client relationship or situation at work that is emotionally draining, discipline yourself to take a complete break from it at least one day per week. Put the concern out of your mind. Refuse to think about it. Don’t continually discuss it, make telephone calls about it, or mull it over in your mind. You cannot perform at your best mentally if you are emotionally preoccupied with a person or situation. You have to give yourself a break.
6. Go For a Walk in Nature
Since a change is as good as a rest, going for a nice long walk is a wonderful way to relax emotionally and mentally. As you put your physical body into motion, your thoughts and feelings seem to relax all by themselves.
7. Eat Lighter Foods
Also, remember that the process of digestion consumes an enormous amount of physical energy. Therefore, if you eat lighter foods, you will feel better and more refreshed afterward. If you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, your digestive system will require far less energy to process them.
8. Be Good to Yourself
Since your diet has such an impact on your level of physical energy and through it your levels of mental and emotional energy, the more particular you are about what you put into your mouth, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be. We know now that highly processed foods, carbs, and sugar are not good for your body. The lighter the foods you eat; the more energy you have.
9. Perform Three Action Exercises
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:
First, plan your weeks in advance and build in at least one day when you will relax from work completely. Discipline yourself to keep this date.
Second, reserve, book, and pay for your three-day vacation several months in advance. Once you’ve paid the money, you are much more likely to go rather than put it off.
Third, decide that you will not work at all during your vacations. When you work, work. And when you rest, rest 100% of the time. This is very important. It is nearly impossible to do both at the same time.
I trust that you see the value and have enjoyed exploring these powerful and yet simple to implement tips that will help you and me to relax and recharge completely. I plan on putting them into practice, what about you?
In our next Wisdom Note, we will hike up an interesting trail to discover the difference between a legacy and inheritance. Encourage your friends and family to also join us on our daily podcast for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.