Ready, (Re)set…Rest! Whaaat?
“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin
After the rush of the holidays, New Year’s and creating January mantra’s NOT resolutions, you may be needing a break.
I certainly do!
We closed not only the end of the year but also the end of a decade and in the Chinese Lunar Year, we ended a 12-year cycle! (more on that soon) The world changed a lot in the 2010s, and things are only going to get crazier.
With new technologies and gadgets literally taking over our lives, we’re constantly moving and getting distracted. We have so much information at our fingertips and incredible visibility into the lives of others. There are also positive contributions from the tech world, that we’ll touch on later!
And we love staring at our phones, don’t we?
Next time you are out in public, look around and see how many people are engaged with the digital world instead of the one right in front of their eyes. It’s quite sad. Even I sometimes find myself doing the same thing. Once you get to know me, it’s all eye contact with each person I meet! As a society, we are struggling to find the right balance and relationship with technology.
“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.” Rumi
Most of us even take our devices into our beds at the end of the day. According to the report, A Decade of Digital Dependency, 60% of adults check their phones immediately before switching off the lights. We have trouble leaving today behind without first scrolling through social media feeds and answering text messages. Time to let that shit go!
Instead of unwinding, we expose ourselves to a bath of blue light, which can interfere with the quality of our sleep. We fill our minds with concerns about what others are doing and make false comparisons between our lives and those depicted on Facebook or Instagram. Maybe we’re still ‘working’ in bed!
Additionally, numerous studies have shown how social media use is connected to anxiety and depression, especially amongst younger populations. We tend to think that others are doing or having cooler experiences than we are because all we see are the most exciting pictures.
To summarize, right before bed, we consume blue light and put our brains on high alert. We let our inner voices fill our heads with negative thoughts about how others are living better than we are. This isn’t a good nightly habit for your overall health and wellbeing!
“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” John De Paola
The process of preparing for sleep should be graceful and meditative. We should intentionally submit to our sleeping selves rather than resist rest as long as possible. Although it seems contradictory, sleep is one of the most productive and healthy behaviours we can do daily.
What a gift!
What we need most at the start of a new year is to rest and calm our spirits. We have to restore our minds and bodies before resetting our intention for the future. You can’t run a car on empty – why should the human body be any different??
Below are three insight to help you rest for 2020 after the busyness of the holidays.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Gandhi
Enjoy Regular Quiet Times
More than ever, people today are go, go, go! We have lost touch with silence and just being!
We seldom stop to take a few deep breaths or pause before jumping into the next thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the motion of the day and spend 16 hours straight bouncing between various tasks and obligations.
I encourage you to incorporate quiet times or meditations throughout your day. They don’t need to be incredibly long to be effective. What’s most important is that you take the time to remove yourself from the river of life and sit on the shore for a minute. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel with such a simple practice. Look out for our Happiness Playshop & Playbook in the near future with some meditation practices!
Enjoy Extended Rest Once Per Week
Once per week, create time and space for extended restoration and rest This is different from sleep, you want both! No matter how many shorter quiet times you enjoy throughout the week, you still need at least one where you can disengage without getting distracted or caught up in “productive” activity.
In Jewish tradition, people take a Sabbath, an entire day to rest from work. It might scare many of you to think of giving up one day every week to do “nothing.” However, what you’ll find is that you have more energy and passion on the other six days of the week.
Rather than race towards burn-out, taking a “Sabbath” helps you reset your mind, body, and spirit.
No Phones Before Bed
This tip is hard to follow but important. Do not look at your phone at all in the 30-minutes immediately before bed. You don’t have to go as far as another fav inspiration of mine, Arianna Huffington did with her bed for phones, but give your phone (and your eyes) a break! Down tools before bed!
You can address any unfinished business in the morning. Give yourself separation from your devices so that you can relearn to enjoy the slow decline into sleep. Many of us have become so accustomed to crashing into our pillows rather than sinking slowly into our dreams. As one of my fav Sleep and Dream Psychologist, Dr Rubin Naiman says, create a ‘soft landing’!
Trust me, doing this will change your relationship with sleep forever!
You know how to reach me; I welcome hearing from you! Let’s chat!