How to Avoid Burnout: The Importance of Rest Days on Your Road to Success

importance of rest days beach

3 Quick and Simple Habits for Incorporating Rest Into Your Routine To Feel Refreshed, Rejuvenated & Ready to Move Toward Your Dreams

Do you notice that in your quest for personal or professional success that you sometimes feel burnt out, overextended and tired? Or that it feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you want to do, or to get a truly restful night of sleep?  

Or perhaps you’re a highly driven person who habitually puts others before yourself to the deficit of your own well-being – and you’re finding it hard to give 100% of yourself to anyone at a given time?

Success is the the product of focus and perseverance, but we tend to fall into the pattern of believing that it’s achieved at the expense of our time, energy and even our happiness.

The truth is that knowing the importance of rest days is a key factor for those who are highly successful in pursuing their dreams. Budgeting and prioritizing time to rest allows us to rejuvenate and energize, which ultimately makes us more productive. Because when we’re burnt out, we aren’t able to direct your time and energy optimally!

Learning how to relax is also an act of self care that helps nurture our relationship to both ourselves and others.

Taking full days off to relax and recharge is just one of the ways you can optimize your time and energy, but here are a few other great ways to incorporate rest into your life to set yourself up for greater success!

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REST FOR SUCCESS HABIT #1: Maintain healthy work-life boundaries

In today’s fast-paced, “always on” work culture, it can be challenging to draw boundaries between work time and personal time. Technology has made it very easy for work to blend into downtime, and we may often find ourselves answering a quick email on our lunch break, at the dinner table or in bed.

But working around the clock doesn’t actually make us more productive. When we’re consistently operating in overtime mode, we’re not operating at our best, and we’re more inclined to make mistakes and have to redo work. We’re not actually getting more accomplished.

We’ve probably all heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder,” and this involves drawing and maintaining firm boundaries between work hours and the rest of your life.

So make sure to take necessary breaks during your day – a few minutes every couple of hours helps our brains refresh.

Take a full lunch break and enjoy your lunch! Eat with friends, read a book, or just enjoy turning your thoughts away from work for an hour.

Similarly, when you clock out at the end of the day, be done with work until tomorrow. Sign out of your work email, let phone calls go to voicemail, and so on.

Now there are obviously some professions where this is harder to do, where you may be on-call or working long or non-traditional hours frequently. In this case, be sure that during your allotted time off, you’re actually off and not doing work.

On the other hand, use your time wisely while you are on the clock. Outside from small breaks, try to be as present in each moment as possible by minimizing distractions like social media. Give your intention and focus fully to your work so that you can deprogram and relax fully when you’re done for the day.

importance of rest days woman sleeping

REST FOR SUCCESS HABIT #2: Take power naps

Napping is one of the best ways to recharge during the day, especially if you work long, non-traditional, or weekend hours, or are getting less sleep than you’d like.

Many highly successful people historically were known nappers. Thomas Edison often only slept 3-4 hours a night, and balanced this with a couple of hour-long naps during the day. Eleanor Roosevelt was known to take short naps before public speaking engagements and Leonardo da Vinci preferred taking 15-minute naps every 4 hours during the day!

Regardless of your unique schedule, napping can help reset the body and mind, boosting your energy and giving you greater ability to be more productive.

Most experts agree that for increasing energy while conserving time, the “power nap” is optimal. A power nap is roughly 10-15 minutes, but up to 30 minutes – enough time to rest without going into the deep sleep that can leave us feeling groggy when we wake up.

importance of rest days alarm clock

REST FOR SUCCESS HABIT #3: Stick to a sleep schedule

Most of us have heard that getting enough sleep, ideally 8 hours a night, is necessary to function at our best during the day. While getting enough sleep is certainly important, getting consistent sleep is ideal for maximum restfulness and productivity.

So what does this mean? It means that as often as possible, you get the same amount of sleep, at the same time in your schedule. For instance, perhaps you sleep from 11:00pm to 7:00am during the week – then you should try to keep to this schedule on the weekend as well.

Or maybe realistically, you sleep six hours a night. If so, try getting those six hours nightly at the same time, which means going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time daily.

Often there’s a temptation to “binge” on sleep when we’re able to get it – to sleep in late on the weekends, for example, to compensate for a lack of sleep during the week. Or it’s easy to stay up much later some nights than others and get a varying amount of sleep nightly!

A consistent sleep schedule will help you feel most rested and therefore better able to accomplish more during your days. Try setting a sleep schedule for a couple of weeks and see how refreshed you feel!

Rest isn’t a break from pursuing your dreams

It may be easy to fall into the mindset that rest is separate or time off from the active pursuit of your dreams, but in reality, it’s a key part of the process.

Rest and relaxation increase your energy and decrease your stress, giving you the ability to nurture your relationships and the stamina to achieve goal after goal in order to create a life you truly love living!

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