Rest Isn’t A Reward, It’s A Necessity!

We live in a busy world.  Our phones keep us active, the internet cries for our attention, and on top of that, there are demands and needs coming from our family, friends, work and even our music.  Sometimes, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, which makes us face a common enemy: stress. 

There are many tips, videos and blogs on the internet giving advice on how to cope with stress. I learnt the hard way how much my health could be affected by working maximum hours with limited sleep. As a result, I started to realign myself since a few years ago, and now I can say it really pays off!

One of the things I did was to consciously plan breaks in my day and week. A break can consist of just a few minutes during which you mentally come away from work by, for example, looking at nature (as I was doing when I snapped the cover photo of this blog a couple weeks ago, when I travelled to the Czech Republic). You can also have a quick nap, do something creative but unrelated to music, have a little workout session… These things will help your brain —which in this regard is like a muscle— to rest, relax and recover, renewing you to keep going.

It doesn’t have to be something enormous for it to be beneficial. Something as small as a moment to deliberately breathe introduces oxygen into your body and relaxes the heart. You can use these to regulate yourself during the stretches between longer breaks of half a day, a full day or a whole weekend.

Plans don’t always go smoothly and you have to rearrange your diary to fit a break in. Some weeks, I have family commitments which take up more time than I expect. I may also get gigs that need more prep time than allocated.  To balance those weeks, I have to decide to not do some tasks so I can have a break. Maybe the task I have to skip is writing a blog entry like the one you’re reading right now, which explains why, every now and then, you don’t hear from me in some time. When that happens, don’t worry, I’m probably just rebalancing my month!

I notice seven direct benefits from taking breaks:

  1. Feeling calm and relaxed.
  2. Better blood pressure.
  3. Less angry or agitated with family and friends.
  4. Restful sleep.
  5. Worrying less.
  6. Creative music ideas pop into mind.
  7. Ideas on how to do my music business better.

It’s the last month of summer, a good time to take a break to recharge and be ready to face the second part of the year. Take care of yourself and remember that rest isn’t a reward, it’s a necessity!

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