Last time I spoke about the Sabbath day, taking a day of rest from work. I also mentioned what happens to me if I didn’t rest enough. What I am sure you realize is that everyone has different breaking points.
My breaking point happens quite quickly. I have to take a decent break every 4-5 hours and short break every 1-2 hours to maintain a focused state while doing mentally intensive work. While working with my hands (cleaning for example), I have to take a 15 minute break every hour. This prevents my energy/motivation levels from dropping during a regular day. I actually use the time I am on a break to motivate myself to continue working hard at the task at hand.
I am sure that from an outside perspective it looks like I am slacking off, but internally I am still focusing on the task I am busy with – I am just reflecting, planning and motivating myself for the next session of work.
However, even with these short breaks during a day, I still need 24 hours of unbroken rest every week to maintain my emotional and mental health.
There are some people who are able to work 10-12 hours without rest. There are some people who can work flat out from holiday to holiday. I am definitely not one of those people (as mentioned in the post about the Sabbath, and above). So it really depends on the individual as to how much time they need to relax and reflect.
People relax in different ways too.
Some need to be among other people, in a social environment, to relax. For me, spending time in crowds is more like work than relaxation, especially when I am expected to make conversation and I am not in a situation where I can just sit and listen. There are only a handful of people who I am able to spend time with and feel relaxed afterwards. Usually these are people who don’t expect me to entertain them when they visit – they have a way of creating their own entertainment.
There are people who relax by playing a sport, or getting some sort of physical exercise. Well, for me, anything that get’s my heart-rate up is more like work than relaxation, and it drains my energy levels, unless I am doing it completely alone (like going for a walk by myself).
For me, the most relaxing thing is to spend time alone with my thoughts, preferably sitting on my bed with my diary, pencil bag and a non-fiction book. At the moment my book of choice is the Bible.
When I get time to relax in the way that actually relaxes me, I find I motivate myself, my battery is recharged and I am emotionally, mentally and physically ready for what lies ahead.
I strongly suggest that you look at what really relaxes you, and do that as often as you need to. But also remember, that not everyone will be relaxed by the same thing, so if you are the type of person who needs other people to relax, please look for people who relax in the same way as you, and leave those who need alone time to relax, well, alone *smile*.