The Importance of Rest
Guest writers Jennifer and Joseph Albright are helping Learning Without Scars to wrap up the year with this blog post on the importance of rest.
As we head into the final weeks of the year, I have to ask – are you as worn out as I am? Wrapping up our third year since the start of the pandemic, the equipment industry has not slowed down. If anything, we’ve all gotten busier. More travel, more meetings, more conferences, more everything. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our share of struggles – supply chain challenges have continued to be a problem and equipment has been hard to come by. Staffing costs have risen. And if this month’s ISM Inside Supply Management magazine is any indication, it’s not just me. Pieces about frayed nerves and burnout, resiliency, agility in the face of non-stop disruption – what we are seeing in the equipment industry is not unique and it’s very real. Despite all of this business has been good. We’ve been seeing mixed predictions in terms of what 2023 will bring but no matter what the speed of business will not be slowing anytime soon.
Many of us look forward to this time of year. Family, traditions, holiday celebrations, and – at least for me – good food are all part of the magic. Add that to all of the normal year-end work madness and it’s also a recipe for a whole lot of stress. While you’ll hear from me in January with all sorts of thoughts on hitting the ground running, planning for the new year and all that jazz, right now I’m telling you to focus on getting some rest. In normal times (if we can remember what those were) there are peaks and valleys, but over the last few years it’s been constant and we are tired. You may not have much time off, this might be a busy time with year-end reporting, invoice processing, sales, and billing for as many service work orders as you can before the end of the year but rest is a critical component of health and stress and can’t be ignored.
Rest reduces stress. Chronic stress leaves us at higher risk for illness and health issues. Not so great for those of us in high stress and face-paced work environments. But rest also improves productivity. It improves our ability to make better decisions and makes us more creative, which is a must in the current business environment. It helps with focus and the ability to learn new things. So really, resting helps us to work more effectively. Yet even knowing all that, some of us still struggle to turn off our heads and get the rest that our bodies desperately need.
While it’s probably too late to schedule an impromptu end-of-year siesta, there are ways to sneak in some much-needed breaks and create habits to use throughout the year.
- Get enough sleep – easier said than done but it still has to be said
- Take a walk or exercise in the morning to clear your mind and start fresh
- Take a handful of quick breaks throughout the day to step outside or close your door and take a few deep breaths
- Resist the urge to check email 24/7
- Ask for help – while everyone else is likely as stressed as you are, do not suffer in silence
- Actually, take your lunch breaks – you know who you are
- Have some fun! Spend some time making memories that don’t involve a spreadsheet.
For those of us working from home, it’s all the more important to create boundaries between work and life. At the end of the day, shut the door to your office and give your brain a chance to reset. Your body, your outlook, and even your work will thank you for it. Have a wonderful holiday season!