The importance of resting and taking a break

This week I have started a job in a primary school, supporting pupils with learning and behavioural difficulties and also mentoring other Learning Support Asistants about dealing with children with ADHD and Autism. I worked every weekday and attended my lectures in university, along with attempting to write a couple of essays for my course. This meant waking up really early everyday and sleeping relatively late at night.

During the beginning of the week, I was able to focus on my job and listen in lectures with ease. However, as the week progressed, my energy levels and attention span marginally decrease. I found it impossible to focus on any of what my lecturers were saying on thursday night and even though I tried to read, nothing was going in.

Friday night came and I prepared myself for a weekend of reading and writing, and even set my sights on writing a good 1,000 words for my essay. However, as my physical and mental energy were on its limits, I ended up not doing anything on friday night. I slept horribly and woke up early on saturday. I struggled to get going on my reading, which led me to feel irritated and extremely anxious. These caused a state of near paralysis and panic in my part, with dreadful thoughts spinning in my head.

I was advised by my very considerate partner to stop trying to work and just rest until the next day. She told me to think of happy thoughts and aim to get my mind relaxed. It worked like magic! Last night I slept soundly, I woke up today with a smile in my face. I mangaged to read 30 articles and I have made notes of good quality. Even though I did not manage to reach my target of writing 1,000 words, I feel really pleased and contented.

I guess this whole week has taught me the power of rest, positive thoughts and the importace of having a healthy relationship. I now believe that i would not acheive ‘flow’ (Csikszentmihalyi, 1992) if I am not well rested. It makes sense thinking about it. If my body and mind is not ‘re-charged’, I would not get optimum performance out of them.

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