One of my new year resolutions this year was to make time to sit down and read the newspaper and when I sat down to read the Sunday paper, on Tuesday mind you, I found an article that captured my attention immediately “Short on shut eye?  Re-energise during the day with these simple techniques”.

Sleep is one of those things that as a mother I never seem to get enough of and there are some days I feel like I’m dragging the chain as I go through the motions of looking after the needs of my children, household and business.

Most of us complain about our lack of energy so we look for a quick fix which often comes in an energy drink and we all know how good they are for us, NOT.  Energy drinks scare me because I went through a stage when I was drinking two to three cans a day and then I turned into the Energiser Bunny and couldn’t sleep.  My body was absolutely exhausted but I couldn’t sleep because of the amount of caffeine pumping through my body.

So here it is a few easy and natural ways to perk up and re-energise during the day by partaking in four types of active rest:

Active Rest

Active rest includes anything from talking to a friend or concentrating on one job at a time rather than multi-tasking.  Dr Craig Hassed, senior lecturer at Monash University agrees that active rest has more benefits than most of us realise.  When we work faster, don’t get mental rest and multi-task all the time, the brain will wire itself for stress and a short attention span. It is vital to take time away from work to calm ourselves and help us to work more efficiently.

Mental Rest

We may have been brainwashed into believing multi-tasking is king but new research has found it doesn’t save us time – we actually lose focus and concentration when juggling more than one job at a time.  Concentrating on one thing at a time has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate and improve memory.  We may be great at multi-tasking but it isn’t always beneficial.  The ability to focus on one thing in the present is good for your mental health.

Spiritual Rest

Seeking a higher being or place also constitutes active rest as praying and meditating has similar effects on the brain.  However research has shown that trying to clear the mind can be frustrating.  It is easier to notice your thoughts and get less reactive to them so they become less intrusive.

Social Rest

Who would have thought that chatting with colleagues, friends, neighbours or anyone in general can reduce stress hormones, depression and the risk of heart disease?

Who would have thought that talking to a friend could help you re-energise?

Of course sociability comes more natural to women than men as they tend to respond to stress by talking to a friend.  To up your amount of social rest try saying hello to someone that you wouldn’t normally converse with or use social media to connect with an old friend or relative you haven’t spoken to for a while.

Physical Rest

Researchers have found that an hour long snooze at midday boosts memory and learning, improves mood, enables you to perform better at work and according to a Greek study, it can cut your heart attack risk by 37%.

Deep breathing is also a form of physical rest.  Try the ‘mountain pose’ – stand up straight and focus on your breath.  It is also recommended that a 4-8 minute hot bath during the day will reboot your body to maximise alertness.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Do you think you can benefit from any of these four active rest techniques?  I pride myself at how well I am able to multi-task but now on days that I need to re-energise I concentrate on one task and work hard to complete that task instead of having four or five tasks on the go.


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