This month....

November 2017

November - crisp fallen leaves, the smell of spent fireworks, bonfire smoke, low lying mellow light, final autumn days before winter. Make the most before December craziness & get preparations in early?

Maybe not. How about a different approach? Been busy? Exciting, stressful, sociable times coming up? Then how about investing in rest i.e. set aside times to pretty much do nothing? A lot has been made about sleep & rest. Going against the grain of always being available, finger on the pulse, taking quality time to simply sleep & rest at first sight appears a waste of time. But think about it & delve a bit deeper - there's no better time investment you could actually make.

Sleep or simply resting gives your body time to repair itself. This can mean anything from over exertion during training & sports injuries to recovering from illness or surgical procedures. Reduced blood flow to the brain as you rest can be better used to help tissue repair.

Rest & sleep help boost immunity. Long term sleep deprivation reduces immune function & the production of anti inflammatory antibodies & proteins, making you more vulnerable to infection & leading to longer recovery time. Remember rest is as good as sleep.

A daydream mode is positive. Being able to relax instead of a state of constant alertness allows you to cruise along during certain periods without too much stress. Relaxation & the ability to switch off also helps boost creativity. You can't think your way to inspiration!

Proper rest reduces stress hormones & balances metabolism. A body that feels balanced is better nourished & has fewer hunger cravings, especially for short term energy boosters.

A tired mind cannot think straight or make good decisions. Rest or sleep restore mental focus & the ability to concentrate on both physical & mental tasks. The further you push yourself the less effective you become.

If sleep is proving difficult then try just having an active rest. Changes from routine activities, contacts & or environment may be just what you need. A sort of lifestyle rest.

Exercise, nutrition & treatments all play their part in keeping you healthy. Rest & sleep are underused, underestimated & best of all are free!

© Susan Mumford, 2017