Juan Dolio Beach in the Dominican Republic

You work hard. You play hard. You shuffle around from one responsibility to another at break-neck speed. You have umpteen people depending on you at work, home and/or school and sometimes, sleep isn’t on the horizon until well past midnight. Then you get up at the crack of dawn to do it all over again. Sound familiar? If so, then yours must be one of the hundreds of thousands of bodies that sent me S.O.S. distress signals last night. You, my friend, need rest.

Besides the uninterrupted sleep you must get every night (yes, at least eight hours is still recommended), there needs to be a period of rest—away from the major stressors in your life—that allows you to recharge and regroup. Your resting schedule should allow for you to wake when your body naturally wants to wake (yes, I’m advising you chuck the alarm clock during your rest time) and go to bed with the setting sun. In-between time should be filled with items like taking the scenic route to and from your front door, letting the sun hit you directly on the face and literally stopping to smell the flowers.

For those that find their own homes to be the source of the stress, I urge you to get away. A fancy vacation isn’t necessary but physically leaving your home is. Try going to your local park or botanical garden; if you’re along the coastline, head to the beach. Take mini-vacations over the weekends to the next town over or R&R retreats at a holistic center near you. Treat yourself to an afternoon movie or a trip to an amusement park. Basically, your rest period should resemble a carefree childhood and be the total opposite of your current, hectic schedule.

Other tips for maximizing rest include the following:

1. Reduce your interaction with technology. These devices that are supposed to make life easier tend to make things busier and crazier. Avoid as much as possible.

2. Start “rest day” with the cleanest, crispest sheets ever. You won’t believe how good it feels to wake up in a bed full of clean linen.

3. Eat fresh, wholesome, homemade foods as much as possible. You’re not rushing off to work so take the time to really make a meal you can enjoy and savor; one that will do your entire self some good.

4. Tackle a personal project that’s been on the back-burner for years. We all have those tasks we say we’ll finish “when we have time.” Well, now you have time. Sit back, relax, and knock that sucker out!

5. Shower and dress every day. I know- you’re in the middle of R&R; why can’t you chill & fester in pjs? Because the simple act of taking a nice shower and putting on fresh, clean, neat clothes will elevate your mood.

Whatever you do, make sure to put Get Some Rest at the top of your TO DO list. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

Suggested reading: The Lost Practice of Resting One Day Each Week via ZenHabits