As high-performing executives and busy life-makers, we often prioritize work over our well-being and forget the importance of adequate rest and quality recovery. While many of us associate rest with getting more sleep, there are other ways to recover from the daily stresses of our jobs and personal lives. Strategic rest is key to maintaining optimal health and wellness, and it can mean taking breaks that are non-sleep-related. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) coined by Dr. Andrew Huberman and share three ways to recover without feeling the pressure of scheduling a nap.
Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)
Dr. Huberman defines NSDR as a way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our “rest and digest” response. It can be beneficial for individuals who struggle to get enough sleep or feel groggy after a nap. NSDR can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as controlled breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or taking a relaxing bath. Practising NSDR for just a few minutes a day can help decrease stress, increase focus, and improve mood.
Here are some ways you can make space for a 10-min NSDR throughout your week:
- first thing in the morning to start your day
- right before you dig into a meal
- right when you get in bed, preparing to fall asleep
- anytime you feel overstimulated by inner and outer environments
Don’t have a private space in the middle of the day to practice NSDR? We got you.
Strategic Rest: Three Ways to Recover During the Day Without Laying Down
🚶♀️ Take a Walk Outside: Taking a break and going outside for a walk can do wonders for your mind and body. It gets you moving, increases blood flow, and gives you a change of scenery. As little as 10-15 minutes of fresh air can help you feel refreshed and recharged. In a city like Hong Kong, a park or a garden is always just a stroll away for some sunlight and greenery.
💧 Hydrate and Stretch: Consuming enough water during the day is crucial for our overall health. Being dehydrated can lead to fatigue and a decrease in cognitive function. Take a break every hour or so and walk to the water dispenser or bathroom, then sneak in some standing stretches. This will help increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and improve your posture.
🎵 Listen to Music: Listening to music can be an enjoyable and effective way to relax, destress, and recharge. Put on your favourite songs, close your eyes, and let yourself drift away for a few minutes. It can help improve your mood and boost your creativity. Give yourself the duration of one song as you prepare for your lunch break or during your city commute. Prefer soundscapes as music? Here’s a nature soundscape.
Many of the individuals we assist are eager to incorporate strategic rest into their lives. They seek our guidance in reenergizing themselves, allowing them to excel in their professional roles, be the partner and parent they aspire to be, and pursue their hobbies without becoming overwhelmed by packed schedules. In a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, burning out is all too easy.
How we help you strategize recovery and make the most of your training program
We have firsthand experience with the balancing act of wearing multiple hats in life while striving to care for ourselves. That’s why we strongly believe in tailoring the coaching approach and strategy to each individual. We have found that the greatest success comes from individuals who are willing to take the reins and co-create a plan that realistically integrates with their lifestyle.
If this resonates with you and you have been searching for a partnership approach to personal training, we invite you to get in touch. We would love to have a chat with you to get started on this chapter together.