Sounds for switching off

With my move to go full time as a PT, I’ve now got two days off each week. It’s been a while.

Rest can be hard. Capitalism encourages us to feel we should always be doing something productive. Caring commitments often take the choice away. My respect to the key workers pulling extra shifts over the last brutal year.

My clients also wrestle with rest. The things they juggle and sustain are amazing. But the relentless grind takes a toll. It might be subtle, but it accumulates.

Body rest: doing nothing, repairing and regenerating.

Mind rest: letting the brain drop a few plates, disconnect and freewheel.

I have an alarm for the end of each evening, called ‘Stop now and rest’. If only it was enough to just tell ourselves to stop.

We can use music as a shortcut to really shift our mental state. It’s a powerful tool to help us focus, or – as you may know from your own exercise playlists – ramp up and maintain energy. I signal to myself with a ‘Wind down’ playlist when the active part of the day is done, and it’s time to begin the slide into sleep readiness. Psychologists say for the strongest mental effect it’s best to save your mood playlists for specific circumstances.

I also dance to switch off. I’ve missed this in lockdown… It’s just me, solo in my flat these days. But it’s unstructured, unplanned, intuitive. Feeling the day’s tensions seep into the carpet.