DOWNTIME, DONE RIGHT!
Follow these steps for your clearest mind yet
For so many of us, being busy is a way of life but clinical psychologist Amanda Gordon says this needs to change. “Without downtime in our lives, we power on mindlessly – we need time to reflect and focus on what’s truly important in life,” she says.
MAKE TIME FOR IT
You schedule meetings, dinners and workouts, but how often do you schedule breaks? And pop it in your diary – that way you’re far more likely to honour it.
BRUSH OFF THE GUILT
“Our culture seems to applaud busyness and condemn those who take space to ensure their activities are worthwhile and effective,” says Amanda. It can be confusing, but just remember, you are not a bad person for taking time to care for yourself. In fact, you’ll be better – and healthier – for it.
CUT YOUR SCREEN TIME
Social media binges and mindless TV entertainment might seem relaxing, but too much screen time is terrible for your rest, says Amanda. Recent studies have found it can have a damaging effect on your brain’s cognitive functions like making decisions, controlling impulses and processing emotions.
ENRICH YOUR MIND
Our brains need constant stimulation. Amanda says these may only need to be simple things. Try engaging with others, read a real book, listen to a podcast, go for a long walk, create something or just cook a new meal – it’s completely up to you.
A power nap can last 10-30 minutes and should not be underestimated. They’re good for stress levels and can help with problem solving, verbal memory and perceptual land statistical learning. No time? Amanda suggests gentle movement and frequent small breaks.