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Power Up with Power Naps
Power Up with "POWER NAP" Naps
During the pandemic, it is highly likely that you have been asked to care for children, assist with on-line learning, make certain your own parents have what they need, keep everyone fed and clothed and somehow meet deadlines for employment commitments. Now with schools starting (and possibly stopping or sending children home to quarantine), things have reached an all time stress high. It is a marathon that is dropping even the strongest to their knees. Self-care is essential for survival, and one of the easiest and fastest stress reducers is there – tempting you to take advantage of it. Yes, I’m giving you permission, in fact STRONGLY recommending next time you walk past your bed or sofa give in to that urge to take a nap! But this is not any nap. This is a POWER NAP. A 20-30-minute daily reprieve. And if you cannot imagine grabbing 20 minutes for yourself, research documents a mere 7 minutes of complete relaxation can be restorative.
Before you blow off this “ridiculous” idea, ask yourself, if there was one thing that would help you complete tasks more efficiently, prevent you from yelling at the kids and help you avoid gaining weight, would you be interested? That one thing is a POWER NAP! A power nap to power you through these very difficult days!
Here is how you do it.
Commit to a time each day – preferably shortly after lunch when younger children are taking a nap. If home fom school, older children can be invited to enjoy 20-30 minutes of personal bubble time if they choose not to rest with you. No electronics or interpersonal interaction, just 20-30 minutes to draw, read, build with Legos, daydream, muse, and take a break! Set a color timer so they know how long it will be and create with them a visual plan of two or three things they wish to do.
Set an alarm on your phone for 20-30 minutes. This will allow you to drop into light restorative sleep and wake up refreshed. If you sleep longer, you may wake groggy and it could disrupt your nighttime sleep.
Select your spot. Your bed, the sofa, a comfortable dark space is ideal, but hey, if that’s not feasible place a pillow on your desk and lay your head down. (This is a common practice in Asian schools and places of work because they know how much it enhances performance.)
Relax. Do not fret if you fail to fall asleep. Simply relax and allow yourself to be restored. That’s it.
Just in case you need a few more reasons to justify allowing yourself a power nap let me share with you the documented benefits.
Those 20-30 minutes spent taking a break and resting will BOOST:
- Impulse control
- Memory and learning
- Regulation of emotions
- Your immune system
- And Physical stamina
That same power nap will also REDUCE:
- YOUR STRESS!
- Blood pressure
- Cravings for carbohydrates and sweets
- And potentially even prevent the development of dementia
POWER UP to meet the demands of this historically difficult time with a POWER NAP!