Our bodies need a break. We need to rest and recharge from too much time on computers, devices, driving, and sitting. These activities are causing our bodies to suffer from stress and fatigue. Irritated eyes, trouble focusing, blurred or double vision, a pain in the neck and shoulders are all a result of the strain we are putting on our bodies in this modern world.

Our minds need a break too. Jumping from thing to thing, endless multitasking, and competing demands put strain on our focus, thinking and attention skills, our emotions and mental health.

Often we think of rest and recharge as getting a good night’s sleep. Rest is more than sleep though. Your body and mind need a break and they benefit from brief sessions of relaxation added to your daily routine. Your mood also benefits from periods of distraction from daily work, worries and requirements.

What are some ways that you can bring rest and relaxation into your life? Vacations, time with loved ones, cooking, gardening, or taking a bike ride are all ways that you can step away from the strain of work and worry to give yourself a break. Stepping away for even short breaks rejuvenates both your mind and body.

We invite you to spend few minutes with Dr. Tracy Gaudet as she guides us through a 5-minute Mental Muscle Relaxation exercise.

Pausing and taking breaks can help in many ways, including the following:

  • Increasing focus.
  • Boosting awareness to make healthy choices.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Helping to maintain interest and energy level.
  • Improving work after you take the pause.
  • Feeling thankful and appreciative.
  • Decreasing your risk of overuse injuries.

Learn more about the benefits of rest and recharge here: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/veteran-handouts/docs/PausingTakingBreaks-508Final-10-25-2018.pdf.

Watch this brief video, “A Patient Centered Approach To: Recharge, Rest, Sleep” to learn how VA is encouraging healthy sleep and rest.


Andrea Young is a Field Implementation team consultant with the Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation.

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