This week’s topic is rest. I know, we just talked about sleep last week, but rest and sleep are two, albeit related, topics. When I talk about rest, I mean both mental and physical rest — taking a break from intellectual work, as well as taking a day off from exercise.
Taking breaks throughout the day has been shown to make people more productive and creative. In my own experience, taking a break and clearing my head before returning to a project makes tedious work go faster, and it gives me a new perspective on creative projects, such as this bog and helps me to come up with more a better finished product.
Rest is also an important part of an effective workout schedule. Taking time to rest gives your body time to recover earlier workouts and can help you get stronger and build more endurance. As sleep helps your body recover from the day and helps your brain make sense of what happened during the day, making rest part of a workout schedule helps your body make sense of what you’ve been asking it to do and increases the productivity of the workouts.
As with sleep, everyone needs a different amount of rest, so it is important to figure out what works best for you. I know it’s time for a break when I feel myself getting sloppy. I start writing anything just to get it done and the quality of my writing decreases. When it comes to exercise, I know it’s time for a break when I feel myself getting stressed more quickly, when I feel sleepy after a workout, or when I’m sick. Here are some other signs that it might be time to add a rest day to your routine.
Sometimes, it can be hard to recognize the need for a break in the middle of an intense project or workout schedule, and it can sometimes be just as hard to get back into the groove after a break, but the next time you find yourself in need of some rest, take a break and see how much better you feel and perform afterward.