Rest, Reflect, Rejuvenate. Why?

The secret of a healthy body and mind is as simple as this: rest, reflect, rejuvenate. How can that be possible?

You've probably had at least one episode in your life when you worked hard, and you worked beyond your available resources. You probably experienced symptoms ranging from exhaustion, distraction, and lost focus, up to having lots of physical symptoms that include lack of sleep, nausea, dehydration, and loss of appetite.

Your need to take a break was increasing the more you worked, yet the more you worked, the harder it was to stop yourself. It became a self-reinforcing cycle that would create more exhaustion, and you couldn't really achieve much by continuing on that path.

When you face something like this, it is high time to break the pattern. But to do so, you have to understand that only a rested mind and body can continue to move forward and achieve anything. Once you begin to exhaust your resources, your mind gets cluttered, you disperse your energy, and your emotions start running wild. And with all of this, the next possible outcome is that you will be sick before long.

How then, can you break this cycle? How do you convince yourself, when you are already so tired, that you need to stop and rest? Especially in these moments, your thinking is irrational, and you can't see how you could possibly stop before your finish everything that you believe needs to be done.

In such a moment, it will be important to watch for the signs that were mentioned earlier. Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you starting to feel a little paranoid about doing so many things that you collected on a full list? Do you worry, first thing when you wake up? Then, it is definitely time to stop.

And you can do so, by creating a simple routine. First, you need to take just one hour away from your day, and do something different. Engage in an activity that you have especially neglected over the last weeks.

It could be as simple as going for a long walk, and intently focusing on what you see around yourself, and completely disengaging from the activity of your mind. Another thing you could do is to stop, and cook a meal for you and a loved one, and then purposefully spend time over that meal without any other distractions. So, you see, it's about disconnecting the mind, and re-connecting the heart.

Next, you have to observe your obsessions. What are you constantly distracted about? How fast do you actually move from one idea to another, without even taking the time to reflect on what you are doing? When you observe yourself, see how much time you spend over these obsessions. They really take up a lot of your resources, and so this is an important step of self-observation.

What comes after this, would be to take some time to re-wire your activity of the day. By now, you probably have such a cluttered day, filled with useless tasks. All of these could be completed in a few hours, if you wouldn't be so distracted. But because everything is so chaotic, you are jumping from one thing to another, just like your thoughts jump from one to another. That's why it's important to re-wire your activity. Make priorities for the things that you have to accomplish, and that are realistic to be accomplished on a short term. And don't worry about the long-term activities. Just put them to the side.

In doing this, you un-clutter your day, which allows you to be more productive. And when you see results coming from your work, you will start feeling better, and this in turn will stimulate your mind, and your heart in positive ways.

At this stage, you have to be careful. You may be carried away by enthusiasm, and be tempted to take on larger chunks of work again, when you are not ready yet. And now comes the trick: you need to stop completely. You really need to step back. Get away from any kind of work for at least half a day, or a day. You are now finally able to rest.

This step is really essential, because it triggers your creativity. Because you feel good about your latest accomplishments, your enthusiasm comes back, and your creative side gets ignited. Such a moment is so important to take advantage of, because if you do rest now, you will find that your mind will continue to be active, but in a way that brings so many things together that you were not able to understand before your break.

Now you can look at your situation with different eyes, and if you are rested, you are able to follow through with some inspiration that you will feel coming to you. Unresolved issues will soon just resolve out of the blue. And that will happen because you've reflected long enough on yourself, and you've given yourself time to just be, and have not forced anything to move in a certain direction. Your mind gets quiet, and your heart is re-aligned. You find a deep sense of contentment and peace with your life, and surprise... this rejuvenates you deeply.

Indeed, it is through this balance that you have achieved within that you will feel energized again, and you will have lots of new ideas, and new projects that will appear in your mind. And since the panic and the anxiety have left, you are now in charge with great joy and determination to do what you love again.

What do you love doing now, dear friends?