Go Easy on Yourself: Importance of taking a Smallish Nap


We are living in a world that is evolving increasingly faster each year, maybe even each week, to be honest! It’s no wonder general anxiety and stress are the two most common complaints I often read about whenever I am reading articles online.

The modern-day technological revolution has encouraged us to do more work in less time and be more accessible and available. As a result, it has become incredibly tough to carve out private time, down-time, quiet time, etc.

I admire Winnie The Pooh’s advice on this subject, “Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two…” 

I think he’s on to something! Sometimes it’s vital to stop the electronic connection to the external world, shut our phone and laptop down, and take a break.

Our society doesn’t laud downtime or naps much unless you’re talking about the 2-minute power nap at your desk at lunchtime. To me, that doesn’t count.

I’m speaking about holding on to some time just for you, maybe time in the garden with your arms in the dirt, or time spent seeing kids play in the park, or time spent reading randomly for no reason (for fun, not for professional development, or work), or my favorite one – time for a genuine nap.

It is during these phases of rest and fallow that our mind and body can reinvigorate, recharge and renew. As a result of these periods of rest, our creative mind will come up with some of our greatest ideas (which illustrates why so many leaders have brilliant ideas in the shower in the morning – after a good night of sleep).

I urge you to look at your calendar and see where you can find one hour of downtime for yourself this week. Maybe you’ll take it from the time you would have spent on emails? Or from the time you would have spent scrolling different posts on social media?

Take a step back, right now, to make an appointment with yourself for some genuine “me time” – note it into your schedule, and keep the appointment, just as you really would if you were meeting a critical colleague. After all, YOU are the most important person in your world.

Here are a few benefits of Smallish Nap:

  • Reduced fatigue
  • Relaxation
  • Improved mood
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved performance, including better memory and quicker reaction time

How to take this nap for maximum benefit?

It would be best if you took these naps in the early afternoon. Napping after 3:30 p.m. can really interfere with nighttime sleep. Individual factors, such as your sleeping schedule, your need for sleep, your age, and your medication use, can help decide the best hour of the day to nap. This will reap good benefits for you and help you unwind. 

Create a comfortable environment for yourself before napping—nap in a silent, dark and cozy place with zero distractions and a comfortable room temperature.

Isn’t it time to go easy on yourself?

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