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We can probably all agree that downtime is necessary, but how often do you make time for it?

Taking a break from work, switching off and having time to rest and relax can sometimes be sidelined or pushed to the bottom of our to do lists, especially in the busy lives we all typically lead. Let’s face it adulting isn’t easy, is it?

Why is it important to take time to rest?

The benefits of downtime include:

  • Restores focus and energy

  • Improves mood

  • Boosts productivity and performance

  • Increases ability to pay attention and concentrate

  • Reduces stress

  • Reduces serious health conditions

How do you know if you’re not getting enough downtime?

We will all feel stressed at some point in our lives, but it can often be difficult to recognise.

Stress can cause many different symptoms and some things to look out for include:

Changes in physical health:

  • Headaches

  • Muscle tension or pain

  • Chest pains, or changes to heart rate

Changes to mental health:

  • Worrying

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

Changes to behaviour:

  • Changes to sleep

  • Changes to appetite or eating

  • Being more irritable or snappy

How can you make time for downtime?

If you’re finding it difficult to fit in some rest or relaxation time, try taking short bursts of downtime, for example 10 or 20 minutes at a time.

This could be:

  • Having some screen-free time (put your phone away for 20 minutes!)

  • Doing a guided meditation (look on YouTube if you’re new to this)

  • Going for a walk (choose nature over concrete if possible)

  • Having a bath, doing a face mask or engaging in your self-care treat of choice!

Do what feels possible for you, but try to prioritise some downtime at least once a week.

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