The importance of rest

The post-xmas period forces many of us to slow down and shows how important rest is.

Teenagers sleeping


It’s the new year, the new decade even, so there’s a little more pressure to look back and forward. But with the future uncertain it’s hard to plan anything. We’re still in a holding pattern so the best thing is to focus on the immediate things around you. And that means family and friends – and sleep.

We normally spend the period between xmas and new year with one virus or another, but this year, touch wood, we were virus free and able to  sleep in, rest and recharge. It’s also the one period of the year when you are forced to take it easier, journalism-wise, because almost no-one is putting out reports, nothing much is happening and virtually no-one wants to do interviews. Any other holidays are fraught – you have to do 10 times your normal work to get a week off and then feel pressured to log into emails or face a deluge on your return.

Rest is underrated, but after four kids it is possibly the best xmas present ever. It’s true that everything seems better when you aren’t tired.

Having teenagers means the possibility of anyone getting up early unless they absolutely have to is very remote.  Our youngest has moved in with his sister – it won’t last, but they are best buddies for the time being. That means he is more on her timetable and so he is sleeping longer too. Next week is going to be hard work, but for the time being I’m feeling so refreshed I am considering regular exercise and some form of workout midday. I finished the year with slight backache due to sitting down for long periods at a very stiff chair.

So I was really interested to see a  study by researchers at Bath University on standing desks.

Apparently standing desks reduce back pain and  means you typically use 12% more energy than if you sit down all day. I know someone who had a bad back from sitting down all day and worked at the ironing board for a while. It could be the future.

The Bath University people say prolonged sitting is a major health concern and talk about the potential benefits of height-adjustable work stations and wearable technologies. I might get the ironing board out next week…

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