Every single one of us needs to simply stop and recharge – regularly! Most of us have experienced times where stress is high, deadlines are tight and yet we still seem to be able to move mountains. On the flip side, I can guarantee that all of us have also experienced periods of the same pressure yet feel we are not firing on all cylinders – resulting in lower quality of work being produced or it taking longer to complete.
Allow your body enough time each night to recharge. Start with attempting to get 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep every night. We are all different with regards to the amount of sleep we require to operate optimally, however the average 7 – 8 hours is a great place to start. While we sleep we unplug from our lives and environment, allowing our brain to rest, process information gathered throughout the day and to store this information as memory. Our ability to function and be alert is directly related to the amount of restful sleep we have.
Try the following tips to get a good nights sleep:
- Have a regular sleep pattern. Establish a regular bedtime and rising time routine. Through repetition you will train your body and your brain into this pattern
- Keep your bedroom dark. Ensure your bedroom is sufficiently darkened as this will promote uninterrupted sleep
- Neutralise noise. Sleep in a quiet environment. Our brain focuses on the noise around us just in case it proves to be dangerous
- Wind down. Create a routine before going to bed that promotes relaxation. This could include a warm bath, reading a book or drinking warm milk. The amino acid tryptophan in milk helps produce serotonin (happy hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone)
- Switch off. Turn computers and phones off at least an hour before bed. The screens promote wakefulness, so don’t get into the habit of using these devices in bed.
Take a 10 minute break from the frantic pace of life and just be still. Watch Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk – Andy is a modern day monk who encourages us to simply go slow for 10 minutes every day. You might surprise yourself with what you can achieve after you allow your brain to stop and recharge.
When was the last time you took a holiday, one where you didn’t take your laptop, reports to read, answer work calls, but simply switched everything off? When did you sit down to read a book or watch a movie, enjoy the sunshine in your garden or simply catch up with friends? All of these things recharge our batteries. Select some that connect with you and add then to your life regularly. In no time you will be back moving mountains and firing on all cylinders.