Stress relief – ultradian rest breaks

Rigor mortis – if only she had taken a break, maybe she could have avoided this…

If you stress something, it means to emphasize that thing or draw attention to it. Most people don’t pay enough attention to themselves and their own well-being which is why, early on, I told people “Stress yourself!” “The more you stress yourself, the better you will feel.” “You cannot stress yourself too much.” “You really ought to brush your teeth twice a day.” Some of this was just general advice.

Everyone is looking for stress relief, but the best method is actually a natural mechanism. You may have heard of the circadian rhythm – a fluctuation in your body’s cycle that happens once every 24 hours. There is also an ultradian rhythm – a fluctuation in your body’s cycle that happens several times every 24 hours. Most people know it in sleep, where you wave up and down into higher and lower levels of sleep, every 90-120 minutes. The same thing happens all day. Every 2 hours, you will be at peak alertness for 15-20 minutes (that time when you are actually productive), and every 2 hours you will be in the low phase for 15-20 minutes (when you read the same paragraph 20 times and wonder if chairs resent us). This low phase is actually meant to be a time to rest and de-stress. Most of us, when we feel the signals our body is giving us to rest, decide to try to blow through it and do something like get a cup of coffee or try to ‘wake up.’ And so stress accumulates.

Stress relief tip: listen to your body. When you feel more tired or stressed, take 15-20 minutes to do nothing. It’s helpful to set a timer and then close your eyes, relax, and even just let your mind wander on its own. If you can’t take a break right then, you’ll have to find/make some time later.

The United Strengths