When you have some free time, do you feel the urge to keep yourself busy and find something productive to do? If so, you are not alone. Even when they notice that their productivity is declining, some people are tempted to work even harder instead of taking a much needed break.

Our brains are like our bodies. Both need rest and relaxation to perform at their peak. If your brain doesn’t have a chance to recuperate, then your concentration decreases which later affects performance.

Now you know that rest and relaxation are important, but how do you fit them into a busy schedule? Here are some ideas to help.

Take five. Sometimes it just isn’t practical to take long periods of time off from your work. Sometimes, five minutes is all you need to give your mind the rest it deserves. Spend those five minutes doing whatever you want. Take deep breaths. Close your eyes. Go for a walk. It doesn’t matter, as long as you aren’t being productive in any way. If you have more time to spare, by all means, take it!

In the morning. It may be easier to find the time to rest and rejuvenate in the morning before your day begins. Set your alarm for fifteen minutes earlier than you usually do. Wake up and spend that time doing something quiet and relaxing. Sip coffee while watching the sunrise. Write in your journal. Go for a walk. Knit. Pick something that you enjoy doing and that usually leaves you feeling refreshed.

Before bed. You can also spend ten or fifteen minutes before bed doing something relaxing. Take a bath. Read. Do some stretches. Pick an activity that you enjoy and that puts your mind in a quiet. Avoid reading or television. Both activities can activate your brain and prevent you from getting a restful sleep.

Make time for exercise. Exercise helps your mind relax and releases stress toxins. Exercise can also increase your ability to focus and concentrate, making it easier for you to make the most of your time.

Do something fun. You’ve probably heard that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s important to make time to do things you enjoy. It can be a hobby, or a walk in nature, or reading a good book. As long as you enjoy it, that’s all that matters.

Schedule it. If you are having trouble finding the time to rest and relax, try making an appointment in your schedule. Make an appointment with yourself to simply do something you enjoy and put it right on your calendar. Blocking out the time will make it seem more important and will also make it more likely that you actually take the time you need to rest and relax.

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