Take a Day Off

by Dr. Michael Nowazek

Dr. Michael Nowazek, BSc, ND explains the
benefits of taking a day off.

Taking a day off really helps to reset the stress response that can be going on in your body. All of the stress hormones can start to reduce and therefore the bad effects of stress on your body and on your immune system can start to reduce as well.

The Hard Part

The hardest part of taking a day off for most people is going to be turning off the electronics. Your day off should be free of electronics – the computer, the iPad, the iPhone, the TV, the news, the social media – shut them off for, ideally, a full 24 hours.

You may have plan this out, especially if you’re still working and it’s not easy for you to take a day off.

Get a Nutritious Start to Your Day Off

Start your day off with a smoothie or fresh-squeezed juice, something fresh-made. Not only will it give you a lot of nutrients to help rebuild your body, but also to help decrease the stress response on your body and the stress hormones. Don’t go into a fasting state, don’t deprive yourself of food and good quality drinks during the day. 

What to do on Your Day Off

Spend the day doing activities that you love to do, things that are not work-related and that are not stressful.

Reading is a great way to de-stress. Find a book that you can really get into, something that’s hard to put down. Often, that’s a book that you’ve read before and really enjoyed. Comedy or adventure books are good, something that’s not too complicated and something that’s not going to agitate you. The idea is to relax and get your mind off things that are stressing you.

Ideally, the book should be in paper form but if it has to be electronic, download it to your device. Before you read it on your electronic device, though, be sure to turn off any apps that might tempt you to go online to social media, news outlets, or other web sites. While your device is in airplane mode, you could visualize that you’re travelling for a day or a plane or a train, anything to get your mind off the overstimulating effects of the online world. Reading on electronic devices is fine, just don’t have access to the internet and other apps.

Another relaxing thing you can do is go for a walk. Get some fresh air and some exercise. Even though the play parks are closed right now, you can still walk through a park (just be sure to maintain physical distancing from others).

When the play parks are open again, you can use the equipment there for your workout plan. If you research, you’ll find that there are a number of really good personal trainers giving some great advice on exercises that you can do at home or at a park that can be fun and that you’ll enjoy.

If you have a hobby, you could spend some time doing that. Many people have hobbies that they really enjoy and just never seem to have enough time to get to. Do some woodworking, do some sewing, do some gardening, take some pictures, play your musical instrument, whatever you like to do that you find fun and relaxing.

Enjoy Your Day Off

Relax and enjoy your day off. It can really help with all of the stress management techniques that I’ve been recommending and, in combination with all of them, can reduce the stress and therefore the effects on your immune system.

Even though our clinic is temporarily closed to help to flatten the coronavirus contagion curve, our doctors are still virtually available to patients via video and telephone. We are available to all of our patients with a virtual follow-up consultation so your care continues with little or no interruption. You can book online or call the office at (780) 485-9468.

  • For a downloadable version of this article, click here.

Dr. Michael Nowazek

Dr. Michael Nowazek is the Clinical Director of Green Apple Health Care. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his extensive training and his many years experience as a naturopathic doctor.

More articles by Dr. Michael Nowazek

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