do you go, go, go non-stop?

 

do you wear exhaustion

as a badge of honor?

what if there was a better way?

what if you could actually achieve more by doing less?

remember when you were a child?

when we're younger, our daily lives are fragmented into stages of productive activity, play time and rest time. 

 

why?  

because the adults in our lives innately understood the natural rhythm of life; that development requires periods of rest so the body and mind can do a reset and we can return to being focused, to being productive. 

so, why aren't we doing this for ourselves?

Waiting Area

adulting.

that's why.

can you imagine telling your boss that you'll get to that report right after they bring you some milk and cookies and you have a quick nap?

adulting typically means working 5 x days a week or more and squeezing in rest time only on the weekends in between chores and errands. 

 

but this is not how our bodies are actually designed to operate.  going against the natural rhythms of life; going against the biological cycles ingrained in our dna, (ultradian rhythms) results in a downward spiral of stress and degeneration.

crack your brac 

Image by Hans Reniers

the 

basic

rest

activity

cycle

in the 1950s, nathaniel kleitman and eugene aserinsky pulled the covers off of sleep science, when they discovered the REM and non-REM sleep cycle.  their discoveries weren't put to bed there.  they found the brain also cycles through periods of activity and rest when we're awake, the "basic rest-activity cycle."   

 

during brac, the brain appears to go through a cycle of about 90 minutes of intense activity, followed by 20 minutes of rest. 

iam rhythm hear me roar

once you start living in tune with your biological ultradian rhythms, you can really begin to

roar and soar.  

during the first 90-120 minutes of the ultradian cycle, hormone levels, heart rate, brain-wave activity and even muscle tension all increase. 

you're super focused and alert.  

but at about the 80-90 minute mark, the focus declines and your body starts craving a rest.  this craving is telling you that it's time for your body and mind to sync back up. during the "active" phase, free radicals and oxidative waste began building up and your body wants to clean that up but it needs you to take a time out so cellular repair and regeneration can occur.   if you don't heed the call and give yourself a break, the body and mind just continue to decline and degenerate.

one, two, three, four,

tell me how to live with more

restoring your natural rhythms so you can achieve more by regenerating your mind and body is as easy as 1,2,3,4

what does your rac look like?

get to know your own rest-activity cycle. set a timer and get to work. start with 45 minutes. are you focused for the whole 45? did your mind start to wander before the timer went off?  make a note. get to know what your optimum activity period looks like.

step 1
Image by Linda Perez Johannessen

rest to repair and regenerate

you do you. no judgments. if you were only able to focus for 30 min, cool. start there. then, take that break but this doesn't mean you're checking your phone, emails, insta, fb. nope. you are disengaging and bringing energy in. sit for a few minutes and close your eyes. maybe meditate. go outside. take a short walk. lie down if you're able to and tune into your body and breath.

step 2
Image by Sid Leigh

how you doin'?

notice how you feel and take notes. how did you feel before and after the rest? taking notes of how you are feeling allows the brain to recognize this new pattern and improve the body/mind connection so you can better recognize when your body is hitting you up for a break.

step 3
Image by NeONBRAND

up, up and away

each time you return to focus on work, time yourself. how long were you able to keep the focus? work for that amount of time, then take a mini reset break.  when you return to work, increase the activity cycle by about 10 minutes.  slowly but surely, over time, you should be able to work up to a full 90 minutes of intense focus. 

cha ching!

step 4
Upward Curve