Do you find yourself bent over your desk, struggling to keep your eyes open the Monday morning after a few days off from work? If you’re like me then I’m guessing your jobs have jobs. Days off feel like they’re strategically placed just so you have enough time to wash that pile of dirty, mildew-y clothes in the corner of your closet and prepare for the next days of work.

So getting an extended break from the job is like finding water in a desert.

But if you’re not careful you could end up feeling more tired and anxious the Monday morning after your hiatus, as if you spent the whole break paying homage to your college days by throwing back Jell-O shots until 4:00 a.m. Yet, the truth is far more geriatric than that because often we just scan our foggy brains trying to figure out why we’re so exhausted on the Monday morning after several days off.

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(True Story!)

Here are some ways you can maximize your God given time off and return to work replenished and rejuvenated as intended.

Sleep In

There are tons of articles that advise against sleeping in because it could mess up your sleep pattern for when you actually do return to work.

F*** it! IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL DAMNIT!

At least stay in bed an extra hour or two to lounge around with Hulu or a good book. Your natural alarm clock may wake you like a regularly scheduled program as soon as 7:00 a.m. rolls around; but don’t let that keep you from resting in bed for a while.

(For those without kids who have that option of course!)

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Because personally, once I’m up and out of bed it seems like time flies into a flurry of me doing shit that could’ve waited. Next thing I know I’ve spent a whole day NOT resting and can’t even remember what I did.

If you don’t train your mind and body to relax, be still and pace itself then you’re going to Energizer Bunny your way through all of your time off only to find yourself yawning in your boss’ face come Monday morning.

Ditch the Plan

Whether it’s going out of town to visit the boyfriend, spending time with family or trying to optimize alone time, I’ve found that over-planning the time off only leads to me feeling rushed. Days off are hard to come by and sometimes few and far-in-between but the truth is if you become anxious in keeping on schedule, off the clock, you will find yourself “working” to stick to a schedule on days that are supposed to give you rest.

It’s okay to want to optimize time off with doing some of the things you never get to partake in because of work. Going to a movie, comedy club, camping…you just can’t do it ALL.  Narrow your activities to the top two things you really want to do. Ditching a traditional or mental schedule can relieve stress and free up space for other fun activities like sleep! Free ball your weekend, vacay or holiday time off, you won’t be sorry.

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You Time

Whenever blessed with a few consecutive days off I often feel obligated to split my time into equal parts Responsibilities(doctor’s appointments, blogging, laundry), Family(babysitting, or a day with “Auntie” for my nieces/nephews) and Lazy Song Days(Netflix-ing and chilling until I eat every snack I own). What usually happens are the first two categories with little to no time left over for the actual “ME TIME” I was fantasying about all week.

YES…ditch the plan but if you MUST plan…include some “you time.” There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk, with a hot cup of coffee you’re too sleepy to enjoy on Monday morning, wondering what the hell happen to all your days off.

So as you read this from your phone or computer screen at work after taking another five-hour energy shot just to make it through the day, remember that days off should leave you feeling replenished and ready for a week of Mondays. It shouldn’t feel like a week of Mondays fell on top of you once that morning alarm clock sounds.

Go From this…

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to this!

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Your turn Builders, how do you spend your precious days off so that you go back to work well rested? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

I’m that person that keeps Snapchat on their phone primarily because I love reading the free article links from various networks and magazines. It was here, in a fit of insomnia, that I discovered an article on ASMR videos for the anxious, overwhelmed or plain ole’ insomniac.

I tried the videos and discovered sleep all over again!

Late nights and early mornings is when my brain decides to release all the suppressed thoughts and emotions that I’ve buried throughout the day. Sometimes I went to bed only to find myself anxious about my life and unable to sleep. With Ideas swimming rapidly throughout my mind; it became a battle in my bed and I lost sleep.

According to ASMR University; ASMR ( autonomous sensory meridian response) can be described simply as a variety of soothing SENSATIONS (eg, tingles, relaxation, calmness, sleepiness) due to a variety of gentle STIMULI (eg, whispering, soft talking, light touches, methodical sounds.)

The holiday season can produce it’s own level of anxiety for a range of individuals trying to fit their life, budget and schedules around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and everything inbetween.

I’ve found that after a long day, watching ASMR videos put me into a sound sleep by relaxing my body’s tensions and clearing my mind. I watch the ASMR videos made by Whispersred on Youtube and honestly, I haven’t tried out many others because she always works for me. Plus change gives me anxiety. The ASMR videos often involve the “actors” doing simple activities like hair brushing or role playing. Watching someone getting their hair brushed creates tingles from memories of getting my own hair brushed by my sister. The monotonous sound and visuals that accompanies it also relaxes my mind from the stress of the day.

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The videos are a little…weird, at least at first. It’s often like inviting someone into your bedroom to help you sleep; especially with the role playing videos. But me and Whispersred have become virtual friends even though I’ve never met her. I can depend on her at 2 a.m. to help me sleep after I’ve been struggling since 10:30 p.m.

These videos don’t always have to be viewed for bedtime. I imagine that they would work well in calming and soothing someone who has found themselves overwhelmed in the middle of their day. The videos are the same as listening to ocean sounds or music aimed at relaxing an individual.

YouTube has a variety of these videos from various individuals whose aim is just to relax you. Feeling stress, anxious or unable to sleep? Give them a try for a week at bedtime to see if they’re for you. I promise it’ll probably be some of the best sleep you’ve had in a while.

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There’s plenty of videos for you to choose from. So get cozy in your bed and turn on one that seems interesting. I highly recommend Whispersred hair brushing video to start.

You can either pull up these videos on your phone and listen with ear plugs for no distractions or access them on your smart tv. Either way I wish you happy sleeping. 😴