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Downtime is Vital
to Reduce Stress

Many people often make the mistake of thinking that because downtime is enjoyable and relaxing that it’s frivolous or unproductive and not important.

Social scientists have found that recreational activity is as important as sleep is to our physical and mental health. Downtime isn’t a diversion; it is a vital aspect for a person’s well-being and for effective learning.

Think about your most recent vacation or extended weekend where you didn’t work and actually relaxed. While you probably didn’t want your break to end, when you went back to work, how was your mindset? How was your attitude? What was your productivity like?

If you’re like most people, you likely found that even a short break gave you renewed focus, energy, and creativity. Problems that you struggled with before your break suddenly seemed manageable, and you may have thought of new ideas to tackle them. So even though you “did nothing” for a few days or weeks, your brain and body were actually going through a rejuvenation process that made moving forward at work and in life much easier. 

Such downtime is vital for both children and adults. In fact, when students take time to reflect or engage in a short reprieve from learning, they actually increase their learning, raise their levels of energy and mental acuity, and reduce stress. Giving youth downtime will set them up for success later in life, as they will be more apt to engage in downtime (without guilt) as they get older.

Tip: Don’t make the mistake of putting off downtime by thinking that it’s not important. Regular downtime is vital to reduce stress and improve your quality of life and work.

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