Dr. Quiet is the chief physician in charge of rest, ranging from deep sleep to a little quiet time. Rest determines how much you can do or accomplish. We all need quiet time in addition to sleep, because our body-mind requires quiet time during the day to repair and re-energize itself.

Today, there is a lack of quiet time in most of our lives. We spend all day busy, with our minds racing at 100mph. We get home from work, make dinner, play with the kids and watch some TV. Then, you go to bed, but your neighbors are playing loud music and your children wake during the night. You don’t get any quiet time, let alone quality sleep, and every day you’ll find yourself becoming more and more tired.

Although sleep is the most important aspect of Dr. Quiet, there are other forms of rest that are valuable as well. Each of these contributes to your general recovery so that you are recharged. They are:

  1. Total Rest
  2. Active Rest
  3. Passive Rest

Total Rest
I’ve really already discussed total rest in some depth in previous posts, with deep sleep as the main example of that kind of rest. Total rest can also include taking a day completely off from work and any other stresses, including working out and playing sports. However you get your total rest, it is the very foundation of the recovery and repair cycles.

Active Rest

Active rest is essentially a reduction in workload. If you’re taking active rest, you’re still working and completing your goals, whatever they may be. The point is that you’re not working 
at them as intensely. While active rest may sound as though it can slow you down, in truth it can make you more efficient.
 By decreasing the burden you’re facing, you give your mind the chance to re-energize itself so that when you’re back at 100%
 of your workload you’re re-focused and thinking more clearly. If you’re finding that you’re struggling at work, but can’t afford to take time off, active rest could be your best bet to completing your work projects more efficiently.

Active rest at your work could be as simple as setting fewer goals for yourself during the day, or setting goals that don’t require
 as much effort. Your day of active rest might be to catch up on some filing or reorganization that you needed done in your office, or you might only set two goals for yourself to achieve during the day rather than three. In either case you’re still getting your work done, you’ve simply reduced your workload.

If you are an athlete, active rest days are days when the intensity of your training is typically about 60% of your high-intensity training days or current personal best performance. Active rest days are excellent days to work on the technical aspects of your training as well.

Passive Rest
Passive rest is a short-term break from the work tasks or projects you’re currently involved in. Passive rest should completely divert your mind from the work you’ve been involved in. This creates the space for your mind to re-energize and re-focus. Even a short, 10-minute break of this kind can reduce the amount of stress you feel. There are all sorts of ways to get passive rest, including:

  • Listening to music
  • A short, quiet walk
  • Reading
  • Meditation

If these techniques don’t tickle your fancy, there are many other ways to give your mind the rest it needs. Just remember that whatever kind of rest you decide on, it should take your mind off what you’ve been working on.
If you’re an athlete, passive rest includes taking part in a completely different activity. For example, as a tennis conditioning specialist, I often advise my players to swim, stretch, do yoga or Zone exercises on passive rest days instead of being on court or in the gym. This is very rejuvenating for their bodies and aids in both their recovery and performance.

If you take your work or sport seriously and you want to succeed, you must take your rest just as seriously, since your rest allows you to operate at your best. Dr. Quiet recommends that you plan your rest, just as you would plan any other appointment. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll work and play more efficiently than ever.

Leigh Brandon

Leigh Brandon has been working in the field of health and fitness since 1996. His mission is to help as many people as possible to reach their health and performance potential, ‘so they can live more productive, fulfilling and happier lives’.

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