I decided to take my own advice yesterday and went on a mini-R&R myself. This week I talked about how R&R’s can be a useful stress tool. Monday I explored what these are: Rest and Relaxation and Reflect and Reassess. It was about 11 pm last night when I realized I had not posted as I intended. So I decided to use the R&R tool (reflect and reassess) and realized (which is another “r” word, just saying), what I needed in that moment was to go to sleep. The tug to do the post with the pull to get rest was the dilemma (and did cause some distress).
And here is one way to apply the R&R: when distress is present, take a moment, reflect and reassess what you need at the moment. Granted, this may not be the first thing that comes to mind; however, another way to implement this form of R&R is to schedule a time through the day, (for example, maybe after lunch on a Monday, after dinner on a Tuesday, at 3pm on a Wednesday, etc.) and check in with yourself. What is it that you need in this moment? One of the things I have observed about stress is that we often don’t realize what we need and push ourselves. I may need sleep, yet I may push myself to not fulfill this need because of other demands. As a result, I may end up feeling more stressed (because of less sleep). I know some of you reading this know this experience.
Another way to utilize the R&R (reflect and reassess) tool is to take a time out once a week, to really explore what the week was about, what you want the upcoming week to be about and what you may want to do differently. It’s important to recognize how we may not be engaged in those things or experiences that are important to us and find creative ways to bring them into our lives. This can reduce some of the distress we experience and provide some of the good stress we want.
Finally, the rest and relaxation tool really is about making the time to actually rest and relax! How do you do this? I’ve found that “scheduling” empty days is one way. I’ll give myself maybe one or two days sometimes where I don’t schedule any social, work, family events and really utilize the time to rest and relax, however that may be. For others, R&R this way means spending more time with friends and family and so looking at ways to “schedule” these sporadically. Sometimes people feel the need to schedule everything in one weekend and for some individuals, this can actually be distressful! (This is where the observing tool may come into place, knowing what works for you).
I know how much the R&R tools have worked for me and I will love to hear your thoughts and how these work for you. Comment below to let me know!
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