Go back to: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 [Haven’t taken the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge? Join here.]
Welcome to Day 18 of the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge! Today we spark inspiration, meaning and joy by embracing the importance of REST.
If you’re feeling stressed or suffocated by the whirlwind of new realities or potential hardships resulting from the pandemic, then your brain is BEGGING for a break.
CHALLENGE: Take a break!
INSPIRATION: Here’s a slice of IN AWE (Chapter 15), that is perhaps more significant now than it was a year ago when I first wrote it.
Stanford neuroscientist Daniel Levitin studies what happens to our brains during the kind of task switching that is now a normal part of our daily lives. And what he discovered is that when the brain is forced to switch back and forth between different tasks, it uses its energy (oxygenated glucose) much more quickly, leaving the brain literally starved.
When you feel spent, depleted, and burnt out, there is a physiological reason for that. Your brain needs a break.
A study at the University of London found that subjects who multitasked while performing cognitive tasks experienced a severe drop in IQ. The decrease was essentially on par with what you’d experience after smoking marijuana or missing a night of sleep.
And yet we seem to think that multitasking is what the best of us do. Who has time to do one thing at a time anymore?
But the constant filtering of information leaves our brains downright depleted.
We can’t even relax without multitasking. A whopping 88 percent of us use a second screen while watching television. I know I’m guilty of this! On an average weeknight, you’ll find me answering a few work emails with the television on in the background. But to our brains, this isn’t relaxing. As our brain shifts between demands, trying to figure out where to focus its attention, we are exhausting it even further. Rather than zoning out and giving our brains a rest, we are adding additional stress on an already fried system.
It’s time to stop the madness.
ACTION: Take pause. Find an escape – even if it’s momentary – where you can kick your feet up. Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring. If you so choose, comment below or post on social, tagging me + using #inawe and share how you intentionally found time to chill out for a bit.
My friends, today is your day! Live IN AWE.