We all require rest. Mental rest. Not just physical. How do you know when a rest day is needed for your mind? What if you rested before you become stressed?
- Practice learning your early signs of mental fatigue. Learn to recognize those subtle, internal signs of exhaustion before it leads to those undesired outward symptoms: irritability, reduced self-control, craving stimulants, sugar, or alcohol.
- Notice that deep, subtle awareness that you’ve been pushing too long, going for too long–that feeling of wanting to pause, to stop to catch your breath, but you can’t seem to even though you know you should.
- Notice the increased difficulty to concentrate and stay on task. Notice the diminishing returns on the work you put in. Are you frustrated with yourself? With your mind for not cooperating as you want it to?
- Notice when you feel more irritable with the distractions around you, like these people are to blame for your lack of focus. Like those things are keeping you from being able to stay on task. Are you frustrated with others as if they are the cause of your lack of focus?
- Schedule in a mental rest day. Resist the temptation to do some “light” work—something that doesn’t require too much mental energy. Instead, jot down ideas to take to the next day. Reduce the demands. Watch something. Intentionally choose to do what you feel like doing–something nourishing, effective to put your mind to ease. Do what you normally would feel guilty doing, but do it with purpose to rest your mind. Maybe you end up being productive in the process with some other project or activity–great! Whatever you do, do it with the aim to rest.
- This is how you’ll know your mental rest day was successful: It feels nourishing. Your mind is as ease. You know, deep down, this is what you needed. You almost hear your mind and body say, “thank you.” It feels satisfying. You feel renewed, refreshed and ready to bring 100% to the tasks and responsibilities before you.