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Rest is as important as work.

  • You can take a mental break, for example, from work or study.

  • You can give your body a break by not doing physical activities or taking a nap.

Our five senses also need breaks- and because most of us tend to use phones and laptops extensively, this applies specially to our eyes, ears and touch. This is different from taking a mental break. Here, we are attempting to give complete rest or a blackout to our overworked senses. Because, for example, if you take a break from work but binge-watch a TV series, your eyes and ears are still constantly working.

You don’t have to wait till you are asleep to give them a break. It can be done while you are awake too.

How To Practice?

At the end of your work day, or when you are done with studying for the day, go to a quiet corner of your home. For 15 minutes, switch off all lights and close your eyes. You do not need to be listening to any guided meditation or ambient music. You can lie down or sit in a comfortable position. Relax your hands, you do not have to hold them in any particular posture. Try to make sure there is no particular taste in your mouth- let’s say from something you just ate prior to this exercise.

Just stay like this for those 15 minutes. There is nothing to accomplish. You do not have to meditate or contemplate or practise shavaasana or sleep or observe. Just be. Let your senses reset to default.

Use noise-blocking earphones if there is any disturbance. Use an eye-mask if there is any remaining light, for example from electronics. Make these accommodations beforehand so that in that duration, you do not have to get up and engage your senses.

This is specially useful if you work or study from home. Since there is not much change in the setting, the senses tend to stay in work-mode even after work hours. This is a good way to signal to them that hyper-alertness or hyper-activity can now cease. You can continue to stay awake after this exercise and have food, socialise, watch TV or any other activities that you want to do. But your brain and body should be able to dial down more easily and gradually instead of being forced to switch off suddenly when going to sleep.

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