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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Your holidays restored you...here's how to hold on to the benefits

Saturday, January 14, 2017
How did you feel returning to work after the Christmas holiday break? I bet that by the time you closed the door on your office for the last time in December you were really craving a little time out. Hopefully that restorative rest has put you in a better place to handle the challenges of life again.

Even if it was just a short break – only the public holidays – didn’t it make a difference? Got more energy now? More patience with people? More easily able to focus on your work, less reactive? That’s the power of restorative rest. Imagine if you could feel the benefits of time out between holidays, despite the relentless demands of modern life.

We have developed an unhelpful collective cultural expectation that you’ll be available to take that call, respond to that text and compose a reply to that email 24 hours a day. Being busy is a badge of honour, it seems.

The result can be burnout, a subtle and insidious erosion of your emotional and physical health: Three signs of burnout are an increasing incidence of irritating behaviour in others, reduced tolerance, and you can’t remember the last time you laughed. 

Although you can’t change that people and work have expectations, what you can change is how you manage it. To help you rest and restore your equilibrium like a holiday does. The key is to make your breaks deliberate and regular.

Daily meditators have learnt this advantage. They switch off from the world, completely, for a period of time every day. This reduces the chronic cortisol (stress hormone) secretion that leads to so much unhappiness and physical ailments too. Not yet a regular meditator? Try out some of the guided meditations readily available for free through websites like insighttimer.com. You can start small with just a few minutes, and build from there. 

If there was just one health-boosting tool I could use for all my clients, it's daily meditation. 

Children can learn meditation and there are free online resources to show you how. So why not include your entire family in your meditation practice?

Meditation as a mini-rest is one of those subtle mood boosters that seem to have no obvious benefit in the moment, but in the long term you and those around you notice your improved mood. Taking this time out will help you cope better with life, and help you feel happier, just like a holiday does. Worth making time out of your busy day to make it happen, do you think?

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy 'How to Meditate' here 



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