What Are "Destress Days" and Why You Need Them
What are "Destress Days", the importance of them, how and why you should implement them into your life.
We know it’s important to take some time off, to release what we’ve been accumulating and to recharge so we can continue on our life’s journey.
And since we all lead such busy lives, it’s now perhaps even more important than ever to really slow down and recharge.
One of the best way to do this is with what I call “Destress Day”.
In this article I’m going to talk about “Destress days”: what are Destress days, the importance of them, how and why you should implement them into your life.
The importance of slowing down and recharging
Before I talk about what “Destress days” are, I first want to illuminate the importance of slowing down and recharging.
We know we need to take days off and properly recharge. In today’s fast-paced world is very easy to get caught in the “always gring and hustle” mentality without slowing down to fully rest and recharge.
The more we give, the more we need to replenish.
This is even more true if we have suffered or are suffering from burnout.
Burnout can leave some consequences on our body the most common and long-lasting consequences are:
poorer energy levels,
ability to handle less stress and life’s demands,
diminished ability to recover fast and properly,
more problems with mental health (anxiety and depression), etc.
A lower energy budget — the amount of energy that we can use in our daily lives — is also another one of the long term consequences of a single intense episode, multiple episodes or long-lasting burnout condition.
When we experience an episode burnout or we suffer from burnout condition, our energy budget is decreased: we have a limited amount of energy, we don’t have as much of it to spend as others can.
Because our amount of energy is limited, we have to be careful how, when, where and how much energy we use.
We have to learn to economize with our energy. We have to learn which activities consume a lot of energy and which activities bring us energy. We also have to learn to save up the if we’re planning on a big event that requires expensive energy “demand” — be it somethings physical (eg. a weekend hiking), mental (demanding week at the work) or fun (eg. a big party).
Because of that we also have to often slow down, release what we’ve accumulated and spend more time in recovery and recharge mode.
That’s where the “Destress Days” come into play.
What are “Destress Days”?
I first burned out in late 2017 and since then suffered from many more episodes of burnout, which prevented me from fully healing my “injury” and condition.
The result is that I have a much lower energy budget that I used to have.
I can’t push and go as hard and as long as others can. I can’t be physically active and do strenuous physical activity everyday because I have compromised ability to recover and it takes me a lot of time to recover fully (usually 2–3 days). I can’t handle and process stress and emotional stuff as well as people around me and because of that I tend to accumulate stress and emotional stuff in my body, mind and psyche.
Because I burn through my energy stores rapidly and tend to accumulate a lot of stress and emotional stuff, I have to incorporate more rest into my life: both smaller portions of rest each day and regular “bigger rest sessions’’ — what I call “Destress Days”.
Destress day is a day when I finally really slow down, let down my shield and let my body destress — release, let out and process all of the things that I’ve accumulated in the previous week (stress, fatigue, negative energy and emotions) — and recharge.
So these Destress Days have two main purposes:
they help you recharge: recover, regenerate and recharge your body, mind and soul (like a Sabbath or a Rest Day)
and allow you to destress: to release, let out and process all of the things that you’ve been accumulating.
This combination on recharging and destressing can have a huge positive impact on your health, well-being and your burnout condition.
So based on that, the next question becomes: how to do these Destress Days?
How to incorporate Destress Days into your life?
It’s not important when you implement Destress Days in your life — it’s important that you do them regularly.
How often you do them depends on how much you need to slow down, release, distress and recharge: The more intensively and the longer you push your body and mind and the more you accumulate stuff, the more you need to do them.
My recommendation is to do a Destress Day once a week — on weekends if you’re working in a regular job — or if you have a flexible schedule do them when your body is signaling you that it needs to slow down, destress and recharge..
The important thing for those days is to slow down, allow your body, mind, emotional body and soul to distress, release all the stuff that they have been accumulating and to recharge and recover.
Here’s a list of thing that you can do on your Destress Days to fully slow down, distress, release and recharge:
Take a day completely off
Engage in parasympathetic activities only: chill, read, go for an easy walk
Cut down on caffeine: caffeine masks the fatigue, less caffeine will enable you to bring up stored fatigue, stress and emotions
Release tension from your body with deep stretching, yoga, shaking and dancing and deep meditation
Do some breathwork: Wim Hof method, DMT breathing
Have a deep, meaningful conversation with someone you trust
Journal about your problems, how you feel, what emotions are you feeling inside your body
My Destress days
For a long time my emotional and cathartic releases happened at least once a week — usually on Sundays: Saturday was my last day at work so my body knew that it could start to “destress”: to bring on and out stored and accumulated stress and emotions from the week’s work and recharge.
I also consciously made the choice to do the destress: after I finished my work week on Saturday, I consciously — in meditation or before sleep — gave my body the permission to “go to work”.
But I’ve been struggling to do these Destress Days and to really turn it off.
Ever since quitting the job at the beginning of this year and working primarily from home, I haven’t been doing a great job at destressing.
I believe this is one of the reasons that I’ve been struggling with my well-being and my burnout condition is the last period.
Caution! Destress Symptoms
At this point I should emphasize that these Destress Days are not pleasant — far from it.
Depending on various factors — how much and long you have been pushing and accumulated stress and stuff, your level of sensitivity, etc — they can feel horrible!
Symptoms on Destress days can include:
Fatigue and exhaustion,
Bodily aches and pains,
Vivid dreams and nightmares,
The urge to change your life radically,
Sadness, anger, resentment, insecurity, anxiety, depression, need to cry or scream and other unpleasant emotions.
Anxiety and fear that the malaise won’t stop and will last forever.
The longer you keep something inside of you, the more it will grow in size and the more painful it will be once it comes out.
But I guarantee you that once you move through the discomfort of physical release and emotional detox, you’ll feel like new.
You’ll have less tension in your body. You’ll feel less stress. You’ll handle better external stimuli and negative emotions. Your digestion will improve. The anxiety and depression will lift up. You’ll be happier, in a better mood and you’ll feel a sense of lightness and positivity.
If you’re in currently in that Burned Out State and you’re stuck in the cycle of burnout and you want to get out, finally take control of your condition and become the “boss” of your health, I now offer coaching with the help of which you will:
gain knowledge about burnout.
gain knowledge on how to find and identify the root causes of your burnout and how to fix them.
gain knowledge on how the four major pillars of life — the body, the lifestyle, the mind and the soul — can affect and cause burnout and how to improve them.
be able to conquer and overcome burnout and build a new, better version of you.
If you’re interested tolearn more about burnout coaching and plans check out the link below or or reach out to me on my personal email.
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Love and take care of yourself, forget about worries and enjoy life! ✌
~ Jani ❤