By October 2, 2014 Read More →

The art of the afternoon nap

Afternoon nap - Jane BinnionThe idea of an afternoon nap tends to divide opinion.

I’m strongly in favour of naps, and so was Churchill, to name just one famous believer, but I know some people say it makes them feel worse, not better.

In today’s guest post social media trainer Jane Binnion explains why she has completely changed her mind on the subject.

Will you be convinced?

When I was a child the afternoon nap, or resting generally, was pretty much frowned upon. You worked hard and earned a sit down in the evening in front of the TV with some supper. It was generally considered that countries that took siestas were idle and a post Sunday lunch nap was just about acceptable.

That voice stayed with me into adulthood and as an employee I would really push myself. When I was tired I would just drink more coffee and eat more chocolate…… And then I would get ill, and I mean proper drop down with exhaustion ill. But then I’d just do the same thing all over again.

That got harder to do the older I got. Then in my mid 40s I was diagnosed with dyspraxia and I finally started to learn about my body and how to look after myself. That’s when I set up my training business so that I could work from home.

Never have I been so in touch with my own body. Even when I was pregnant I continued the super-woman act. Now I eat good food, and I pay attention so that when I start to drop things, knock things over and bang into things I know I am getting too tired. Along with that I have learnt that it’s not only OK, but in fact totally brilliant to have an afternoon nap.

Now I no longer fight the tiredness with stimulants and battle on regardless. When I notice that I‘m struggling I give myself permission for a lie down to recharge my batteries, then I bounce back up and carry on. More often than not I have greater clarity with regards to the project I was working on having ‘slept on it’.

Some people say they feel worse for an afternoon nap and in fact it used to take me ages to come round and would often make me grumpy and thickheaded. It’s practicing yoga relaxation that has really helped me. Learning to go into a deep relaxation for 10 minutes and come round refreshed is, it seems, a bit of an art, but your body really does get the hang of it quite quickly.

If you’re worried that you will sleep the whole afternoon perhaps start by lying down listening to a relaxation CD. Your brain will tune in and bring you out of your restful state when it ends.

It is without a doubt the best way to maximise my own productivity. It’s really not possible to be productive when we are very tired. It always reminds me of the story of the man in the forest who had spent hours trying to cut down a tree. Seeing he was exhausted it was suggested to him he took a break to sharpen his saw, but he replied that he didn’t have time! Well, I now take time to sharpen my saw.

It has been especially good with this long summer. When I need to recharge, rather than go to bed, I lie my hammock in the garden and gently rock to the sound of bird song. Now you can’t do that in a shared office can you! I’m now clear that those Mediterranean types were right all along and we were just jealous!

If you’ve never tried the afternoon nap on a work day, give it a go, and let me know how you get on. If you don’t want to nap, just have a lie down, put your feet up and switch off for 15 minutes. Allow your brain a chance to re-boot and see how that feels.

work from home secrets

Jane is a Lancashire-based, award winning social media and ethical sales trainer, passionate about encouraging people with disabilities to consider self-employment as a viable work option.

Posted in: Routine

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