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    Some people feel like they have to be productive or doing something all the time. It can be difficult to find time to rest and relax with looming to-do lists and various responsibilities. However, try to make it a priority to incorporate some downtime in your daily life. When you know you need a break, give yourself permission to relax and recharge.

    Finding Balance

    You can’t—and shouldn’t—be productive all the time. Life is about finding balance. Don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a break at times, especially when you really need it. And how do you know when you really need a break? Luckily, our bodies have a way of letting us know when rest is needed, so work on being in tune with yourself and listening for these signals.

    Monitor Your Stress Levels

    A certain amount of stress is healthy and manageable. It can be a driving force to get things done. However, too much stress can wear you down and isn’t good for your overall well-being. When you start to feel your stress levels are more than you can manage, give yourself a break and incorporate relaxing activities into your day. What activities help you relax and take your mind off your to-do list? If you're unsure if you're stress levels, take Espyr's stress assessment in Espyr Connect to determine your levels so you can give yourself the proper care and stillness your mind is calling for. Stress levels and reducing stress is different for everyone—maybe reading a good book, taking a bath, getting some exercise, calling a friend, or taking a nap is what you need. Or talking to your mental health professional can do the job. By letting yourself rest, vent, and doing an actvitiy that you love, you’ll be more productive and clear-headed when you are tackling your to-do list.

    Schedule Relaxation into Your Day

    You can help yourself feel more balanced in daily life and proactively avoid stress overload by scheduling downtime into your week. For instance, if you know you’re going to have an extra busy week ahead, find time in the evening or on the weekend for some self-care. It’s always nice to have something fun to look forward to, and you can even use this as motivation to cross items off your to-do list. Use your downtime wisely by allotting time to recharge and practice self-care.

    Practice Mindfulness

    When you are engaged in a leisure activity, be fully present. If you catch yourself worrying about what happened yesterday or what you have to do tomorrow, bring your focus back to the moment. Focus on the sights and sounds of wherever you are. You can plan to do something relaxing, but it will not actually be relaxing if you are worrying the entire time. Cultivate an ability to be in the moment, without rushing through it or worrying about what comes next.

    Exercise and Relaxation Go Hand-in-Hand

    Incorporating regular movement into your day helps manage stress levels and can make you feel more relaxed. Aim to engage in some form of physical activity most days of the week. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, take regular breaks to get up and stretch or walk around when possible. Find a workout buddy to hold yourself accountable or utilize one of our Espyr coaches to guide you through cultivating healthy habits, workout routines, and a healthy diet. Even if you’re not working out together, you could plan to check in with each other or use an app to share workouts. Notice how you feel after you get your blood pumping a bit: Often, exercise increases focus, can help you feel more clear-headed, and decreases stress levels.

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