Ahhh, the transition from summer to fall. We do it every year; sometimes more gracefully than others. Each year around this time, I hear my students say, “I feel frazzled. . .life is so hectic. . . I’m exhausted. . . my schedule is crazy!” And it’s true. The shift from summer to fall is a dramatic one. Just take a look at nature and you will see the extreme change that is happening all around us. Our summer here in Boston was amazing but also a very dry one. I’ve noticed that many of the trees have gotten “burnt”. Their leaves are missing at the top; they fell off without even changing colors this year. And we too are feeling the effects of summer’s heat and intensity - the feeling is. . .well, a little burnt.
So, to reinvigorate and prepare for Fall in all its glory, I challenge you to a small practice over the next seven days. The experiment is to actively rest. That’s right, for the next seven days (if you choose) you will take 5-15 minutes to rest and reboot. Is it possible to benefit from a 5 minute meditation or a 15 minute nap? Absolutely. Taking a break is a vital component to your health and wellbeing.
Here’s the practice: Commit on your calendar to a specific time that works each day and schedule your “rest and reboot”. (Do not put it on your calendar as an “all-day” event that looms at the top just waiting to happen because it never will.) At your designated time, find a quiet space to sit comfortably or lie down savasana style. Turn off, silence, or enable the “do not disturb” button on all electronic devises. Set a timer for 5-15 minutes. Now, close your eyes and do nothing. That’s it. Relax. When your mind wanders, which it will, kindly empty the thought(s) and return your attention to your breath. Or simply try listening to the quiet sounds that surround your space. Enjoy doing nothing - this is the practice. Now, don’t miss this part. . . when your timer goes off, make note of how you feel afterwards. How does your physical body feel? What are the qualities of your mind? How does your heart/spirit feel? Notice how the rest of your day goes. Do you think more clearly or work more efficiently? Does a problem you were working on for the last hour suddenly resolve itself?
This 5-15 minutes is nearly the same amount of time it takes to reboot your computer to get all the programs working at peak performance. Why not allow yourself that same opportunity to refresh? Science has proven that a ten minute nap improves cognitive function and decreases sleepiness and fatigue. More on that here.
For the next 7 days, enjoy your rest and reboot. I’ll be practicing too and posting about my experience via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (#restandreboot). Feel free to share your experiences here (at the blog) or via social media. Enjoy your week and enjoy doing a little less - rest.