Ready for the off!When I was a fitter me, I used to regularly do long-distance running. I grew to really enjoy those times, either first thing in the morning or late at night. For me, it wasn’t only a time to get some exercise, but also clear my head, see parts of the city I otherwise wouldn’t, appreciate creation and so on.

When I went running, I used to say, “hills are our friends.” Totally an attempt at reverse psychology, as they are SO NOT! I later added, and began to say,

take the rest.

The training stuff I’d read said that ideally you shouldn’t stop running until you finished your run. Meaning, for example, that if you were at a crossing or traffic light, you didn’t stand still; you ran on the spot until you could cross. This, in basic terms, because it was harder to crank the body back up if you came to a full stop.

I used to be very frustrated with traffic stops, or when waiting for cars to pass on side roads etc. I didn’t want anything to interfere with my pace. I was also intent on getting to the end of my run, which sometimes needed lots of mind over matter. It being all I could do to tell myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Hence having to slow down or wait, didn’t help those battles.

However, at some point, probably as the distances got longer and longer, I began to see them as opportunities. Even sometimes wanting the lights to be in the traffics’ favour! I told myself,

take the rest.

Seeing it as a moment to catch my breath; pause and gear up for the hill around the corner or the miles still to come. I was still running on the spot, but instead of doing so while frustrated or furtively looking to see if I could make a dash for it; I let myself just take the rest. Generally feeling better for it, once the lights were in my favour.

There maybe lots of reasons why you can’t stop right now, however, we all need to take some rest. So find where you can take yours.

  • Like parents who sleep when the baby sleeps. Probably leaving other things in disarray, as they know this window for sleep maybe very small.
  • Doing a little 5 minute dance break. I’m telling you, it helps!
  • Taking 10 minutes out of the day to just ‘be’; stand outside; walk around the block… It’s 10 minutes. Most phones will have a preset 10 min alarm. It’s doable.
  • Saying “no” to that invite or giving yourself a day off from a routine event, so you can sleep in till midday.
  • Or better still, diarise downtime for yourself at regular intervals. Why make it a date in your diary/calendar? Because then it stands a better chance of happening, and gives you a legitimate answer when someone asks if you’re free. “Sorry, already got something scheduled.” Which is true. You are taking time for you. Putting on your ‘oxygen mask first’

Bottom line,

take the rest.