Did you have a relaxing summer?
One that restored you?
Sonnentag’s research into what kind of breaks provide us with the greatest degree of recovery concludes that the most restorative and restful breaks have four elements. How do your breaks and vacations and days off stack up on these:
- Relaxation – it’s pleasant and undemanding (relaxation doesn’t mean being totally passive; you may be quite active but it doesn’t feel like work or effort)
- Control – you have the power to decide how you spend your time, energy, and attention
- Mastery – it’s engaging and interesting and you do it well (often it is challenging and mentally absorbing)
- Mental detachment – feels disconnected from work and the stress of life
Downtime that scores high in all 4 factors of these factors is the most restorative.
In fact, a 2011 study of Canadian reservists found that despite begin mentally and physically challenging, their military deployment provided recovery from their civilian stresses!
To promote full recovery from the stress of work, school, and life,
have vacations, weekends, and evenings that are absorbing, challenging, don’t feel like work/effort, and push work & stress from your mind.
What are you doing tonight to really recover from your day?
For effective, practical stress management skills that enhance health and performance, check out the Stress Management & High Performance Clinic programs at http://www.SelfRegulationSkills.ca.
Kathy Somers, R.Kin, BCB