We, humans, have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.
Thich Nhat Hanh
February 17, 2017
To say that we live in a busy world would be the understatement of the week! It seems that everything runs 24/7 from retail to needed services like medical facilities. People are working more hours each week than ever. A 2014 Washington Post article cites a study that shows the average American workweek is now in excess of 49 hours per week.
With all of the demands placed on us by work, society, family, and friends it’s no wonder that over 18 million Americans are suffering from some type of anxiety disorder. This from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America which can be found here.
A practice that has helped me to feel refreshed and ready to attack whatever needs attacking is the power nap. It took a little practice to achieve the perfect power nap but I muscled through it and can proudly say that I’m pretty darn good at it.
Your mind and body need rest and your family deserves to have you well rested. I’m not going to go into all of the benefits of rest here today if you’d like more information on rest and its benefits please go here.
I would now like to share my power napping tips with you.
How to power nap:
- Find a quiet place. It doesn’t have to be dark, just quiet. If you require darkness to sleep just keep in mind that you’re not going down for the night. Just for 10 to 15 minutes of non-rem sleep.
- Next set the alarm on your phone. This will help take your mind off of oversleeping. 10 to 15 minutes will do.
- If your in your car at lunch time just lay that seat back and relax
- Don’t beat yourself up if at first you can’t seem to doze off. You may actually do so without even knowing it. It’s called micro-sleep.
- Relax. Don’t think about work, bills, Monday night football, your dog, or your girlfriend. This is 15 minutes of “you time.”
- Don’t zonk out for more than 15 minutes.
- You can do this on the couch, in your car, under a tree, in your bosses office if you’re so inclined. Just be sure it’s a quite place.
- Don’t make it a regimented exercise that you must do daily. Just do it when your body says “I’m feeling like I need some down time.” If that is daily then go for it. Just don’t force it…ever. Respect the power nap.
- Other than it needs to be quite and not over 15 minutes, there are no rules to a good power nap.
- Ok…maybe there’s a 3rd rule. Enjoy it.
That’s it. You owe it to yourself to rest your mind and body, once you get this down you’ll feel the benefits after each power nap session, and you’ll be glad that you mastered such a powerful and easy mood altering technique.
Just writing this is making me sleepy!