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Building Future Fit Teams: Learning to rest

Wow! This year is certainly speeding by.

As we head into the Easter Break, I was hoping to take a minute to discuss how we can learn to rest without necessarily taking time away from the office.

We often equate rest with leave, but if you are anything like me, your leave has already been planned out for you either doing those things around the house that you never get to or trying to keep the kids busy and stop them from inflicting bodily harm on each other. After a break like this, returning to the calm of an office environment feels like a holiday! So, when do we actually get the time to rest?

My view of late is that we can no longer schedule time to rest; it’s just never going to happen. Instead, we need to learn to take ‘mini vacations’ albeit mental ones and make ‘resting’ part of our everyday routine to ensure that we remain firing on all cylinders.

Learning to rest is key if we are to survive in this Industry 4.0 world, and below I have listed the four strategies and some links to sites that I use to keep me on track, enabling me to ‘blissfully’ meet the demands of my day. (most of the time)

  1. Scream, shout and let it all out: Most of us are walking around with pent up emotions raging inside, causing us to use an extraordinary amount of energy to keep them in check. It’s exhausting trying to keep up our display of EQ mastery!

Inevitably we erupt over the stupidest thing, spewing anger, sometimes rage, over the people we love the most, leaving them hurt and confused about what triggered this reaction. So, before you hurt those you love the most, I would like to give you the same advice I give to my kids, you really need to get that S…t* out of your system.

In our house we have the screaming or crying pillow. Just as advertised this little pillow selflessly absorbs all the abuse we can throw at it. You may feel silly at first and be afraid that your neighbours may hear your muffled screams so put some loud music on grab that pillow and scream into it as hard as you can, punch it if you need to…just go with what flows.

Holding these negative emotions inside just serves to poison us and when you do eventually flip your lid it’s just ugly, no one really wants to see that.

For more scientific evidence on why screaming is good for you check out the following articles:

2. Breathe: Doesn’t that sound simple?
But when was the last time you sat down and consciously focused on your breathing? With the amount of time most of us spend behind the computer or in a stressed state we are not breathing nearly deeply enough. Shallow breathing tires us and increases the feeling of stress. To get to grips with the benefits of breathing or for a quick synopsis read the Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises for Mind and Body. There is also a great app that you can use to remind you it is called ‘Breathe’ and you can download it here for Apple watch users:  and here for Android:

3. Exercise: I know far easier said than done.
I know what it’s like trying to find the time during your day to squeeze in even 30 mins. But what if we reframed this? Instead finding a way to build in exercise during and throughout your day. Best of both worlds.

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? However, check out the FAB Quotient by the Resilient Energy Centre. You will be so surprised at how easy they make it to build exercise and healthy eating into your everyday routine.

4. Get some Z’s: Good quality sleep is critical to our ability to function at our best. And again, don’t even tell me about it! I always joke that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in the last 10 years since my first child was born and good quality sleep became nothing more than a distant memory.

However, I have subsequently figured out my body clock and a way to work around this. I do well on 5 hours of sleep a night, I can outperform on 7. However, if I sleep for 6 or 8 hours I’m brain dead, its just how my sleep patterns work. At times when I have had 3 hours or less of sleep a night…and yes speak to any parent and they will tell you that it happens more often than not, I can cope with my day if I find a space to grab 20 minutes of shut eye, no more no less.  An article that I gained much benefit from was learning how to deal effectively with my sleep debt. But, if you would like to understand your sleep needs better or simply get to grips with why sleep is so important, take some time out to read the following articles:

Why sleep is important

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Bear in mind that the pace of life is only going to get faster and the only thing that we can control is how we respond, so learn to rest, and you will find the strength and vitality to keep pace.

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