We were led to believe that being tough means you can endure more. The more we work, the more resilient we become. When we think we don’t have the strength anymore, but we still get up and keep going – that’s what we think resilience is. How wrong we all are about what it really means to be resilient. If we deprive ourselves of deep relaxation and recuperation, we’ll become less and less resilient and less and less productive. To keep the balance and to keep our brains healthy, we need to truly unwind and step back from what we are doing. According to a study, the recovery time is the precondition for healthy life and for avoiding occupational stress. If we exhaust our bodies to the limits, we’ll eventually break down, whereas keeping a healthy balance between working and resting will help us accomplish all our tasks and not feel overwhelmed.
Without resting, you become less successful
To always be productive and to do our best at performing every task, the key is to let our body and mind recover from everyday obligations imposed by our jobs. If you look at how we work, we can see why it’s important to let our bodies recharge. We tend to deprive ourselves of sleep in order to get more things done, but we don’t realize to what extent we harm our bodies and that it will have the opposite effect. Sleep deprivation impairs our attention, working memory, long-term memory and decision making ability. It also has a negative impact on homeostatic processes, which are necessary for our bodies to restore balance and keep us healthy.
Feeling recovered in the morning from the previous day allows us to be fully focused on what we are doing and to perform to the best of our abilities. And consequently, if we proceed to think about our work even when we go to bed, it will result in us waking up feeling fatigue, even though we had enough hours of sleep, and we won’t be able to fully focus on our work the next day.
Leave your work physically and mentally
True recovery means not only to leave the office, come home and lie down. We need to give our brains some time to recover by doing activities that will lead to true state of relaxation. Lying down and thinking about the pile of work we have to deal with the next day will produce no positive results and we’ll end up feeling exhausted even though we practically did nothing – that is because our brains require rest too. Try doing some fun creative activity that will take your mind off work and allow you to recuperate. Non-work related creative activities have positive effects on the performance at work place. So, get creative and unwind.
Take time to recover
Find the time every day for activities that will help you to unwind. You can take your time and read your favorite books, watch a comedy movie, look at funny pictures, even buy a coloring book for adults and see all the stress disappear as you unleash your creativity. Use the time, for example, when you are commuting to and from work to listen to some music that makes you happy, or to call your friends and chat about some non-work related topics. If you can’t stop thinking about your work when you go to bed, you can try meditating for 15-30 minutes each night before you go to sleep. It will help you clear your mind of all worries.
In order to stay healthy and energized, it’s important to know when to stop, take a break and recharge. If you don’t let your body recover, you’ll always feel exhausted, and thus less able to do your best. Pushing yourself to the limits doesn’t mean you are resilient, knowing how to keep the balance between working and resting does.
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|Ergonomics: The influence of work characteristics on the need for recovery and experienced health: a study on coach drivers
|National Center for Biotechnology Information: Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance
|Wiley Online Library: Benefiting from creative activity: The positive relationships between creative activity, recovery experiences, and performance-related outcomes