We're all busy.
Between professional and personal commitments, domestic duties, and childrearing (if you have children), the hours fill up fast. Additionally, it's easy to fill whatever spare time we do happen upon with the minutiae of everyday life.
The busier you are, the more you need to build in time for rest and rejuvenation. Without committing to time for yourself, you will find a way to fill your time with busy work and stray tasks. Do this for too long, and you will burnout. It's inevitable.
Prevent burnout by engaging in one of these (in)activities.
1. Go for a walk
The beautiful thing about walking is that you can do it casually, on a whim, wearing heels, or all-out with a Camelback and hiking boots. Which means that you can fit it into your schedule whenever you have 10-20 minutes, wherever you are.
If you have a brief moment, head out for a stroll. If you're wearing heels, meander. If you've got a pair of tennies, hit it hard. Walk in silence and/or through nature if you can, but if you can't? Chatting with a coworker while pacing the halls will do the trick.
2. Eat a proper meal
Think about the last time you ate. Did you eat at your desk? While reading? Scrolling Facebook or watching Netflix?
Give yourself the gift of a proper meal. Allot 30 minutes to this venture and use a proper place setting and silverware. Casual and plastic is fine, as long as you take the time to set it up. Then, dine.
3. Park at the back of the lot
If you can't make the time to take a walk, fit one in anyway by parking at the back of the lot. The additional 2-5 minutes will give you a chance to clear your head and has the added benefit of getting in a few extra steps for the day.
You're also tricking your rational mind into being okay with this break. After all, you have to park the car somewhere, right?
4. Listen to nighttime meditations
Still no time? You can still reap the benefits of relaxation by listening to meditations at night. You'll calm your mind, lull yourself to sleep, and, as a bonus, create change on a subconscious level while getting some much needed rest.
5. Have a soak
A warm bath, preferably with sea salt and lavender essential oils, is a nice departure from the everyday. As little as 15 minutes will restore you, as the warmth will penetrate your muscles, the sea salt helps detoxify your body, and the lavender slows the activity of your nervous system.
6. Schedule a coffee date with yourself
If you're feeling bold, block off time on your schedule to have a coffee date with yourself. Pick a place that serves coffee in real (as in "not paper" or "not to-go") cups and sit in the comfiest chair you can find.
Avoid reading or computing during this adventure, as those activities distract you from clearing your mind. Instead, use the time to people-watch, to be present in your body, and to observe thoughts that come up.
7. Embrace the dolce far niente
Introduced in Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, the dolce far niente is a chance for you to do nothing--without any guilt, stress, or overwhelm. It's time that you set aside for you and you alone, to do as you wish, whatever that may be.
The key here is to focus on that which relaxes you. Read a novel that's been sitting on your nightstand for three months, wear a slinky nￃﾩgligￃﾩe, lounge in the sun--you decide.
Regardless of how you approach your time to rest, the end goal is to unplug from the daily frenzy of activity. Instead of using the ten minutes in between school pickup and extracurriculars drop-off to send "one more email," use it to breathe deeply, calm your mind, and relax your body.
A version of this post originally appeared on lynndaue.com.