Woman looking very happy on the beach with an illustration of a 100% charged battery

At this time of year, lots of us are jet-setting overseas for a summer holiday. It may be your first holiday for a few years after Covid had us staycationing for the last couple and I’m sure you’re very excited for a bit of R&R.


For others, a summer holiday isn’t possible this year. Maybe you’re caring for a relative, have a work commitment or perhaps the piggy bank is a little empty. Wherever you are this summer, it’s really important to make time for rest and recharge.


Rest and recharge. Does the phrase alone send you into a bit of a panic? “I can’t rest, there’s too much to be done!”


From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, most of us are constantly on the go. Our to-do lists never seem to be fully ticked off. They’re a bit like the monsters in the films. You chop one head off and two new heads grow in its place.


We need rest. It’s vital for maintaining good mental health. Proper rest improves concentration and memory, reduces our stress levels, improves our mood and even helps with our metabolism. Rest also recharges our ability to cope in challenging situations, maintain a healthy work-life balance and lead happy relationships.

Here’s an A-Z guide of ideas you can incorporate into your day to make resting and recharging a priority:

A is for Active

It might sound counterintuitive but staying active is an important part of recharging your batteries. It doesn’t have to involve iron man competitions and weekly marathons. Just taking 15 minutes to walk around the block after work or getting off the bus a stop earlier can get the endorphins – our bodies’ feel-good hormone – into action.

B is for Breathe

Take a few minutes to notice and focus on your breath. Close your eyes and take your attention to the tip of your nose and just notice. After a few minutes, you will realise your breathing is getting deeper and you will start to feel more relaxed. Research shows that mindful breathing reduces anxiety and stress.

C is for Comfort Zone

Most of us like to be safe and steady but there are benefits to doing something that gets us OUT of our comfort zone. It could just be going to the cinema on your own or it could be realising a big dream. Initially, you may be apprehensive, so talk yourself into it. When you’ve done it your brain will reap the rewards.

D is for Do

Doing something nice for someone can give us an instant feel-good factor. Helping others may not be in your nature but thoughtful actions can boost not only your own mood but the person you have helped.

E is for Energy Levels

Are you an early bird or a night owl? We tend to have a time in the day when our energy levels are at their highest. Whichever you are, always do those tasks you don’t really want to do when you’re at your peak. Don’t leave them until your energy is low.

F is for Friends

Make time to spend with your radiator friends. Radiator friends are good to be around and make you feel warm and glowing when you have spent time together. If busy schedules keep you apart and it’s not always possible to get that cup of coffee together, call them – it’ll make you feel instantly better.

G is for Gratitude

Focusing on what we have, and not what we don’t have, really is the secret to maintaining a good mood and happiness. Every day, just before you go to sleep, note three things you are grateful for. It could be your partner, your children, a warm house or a nice meal to come home to. It’s a great way to quieten the mind before sleep.

Pay it forward by starting a gratitude jar in your office. 

H is for Healthy Treats

Giving our bodies what they need helps them to recharge. Always have to hand some healthy treats such as nuts and protein snacks. Mix these with the right fatty oils, omega 3 and 6, and you have food that feeds your brain and balances your mood. And don’t forget to stay hydrated.

I is for Interests

Spending some time on the things you love to do just for a few hours can make you feel good and give the brain something other than work and stress to focus on. Finding a new recipe to try out on the family, doing some type of craft activity or completing a sudoku – it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something that you really enjoy.

J is for Journal

Journalling can help you to recharge and be inspired from within. Whether your feelings are good, bad or pretty ugly, it’s good to get them out of your head and onto some paper.

K is for Kindness

Be kind to yourself. Do you have great conversations with yourself in your mind? We are often our own worst enemy, beating ourselves up because of something that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to. So talk kindly to yourself and check on yourself frequently to make sure you are treating yourself kindly, as you would your best friend.

L is for Laughter

When was the last time you had a really good laugh? A real belly laugh that made your sides hurt? Laughter relaxes the whole body, eases anxiety and fear and relieves stress. Not taking yourself too seriously is an instant recharger so get giggling.

M is for Music

Listening to slow music can calm the body and have a relaxing effect on the mind. It can calm your nervous system and lower cortisol levels. The same goes for making music. Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument can help to release emotion, decrease anxiety and improve overall mental health.

N is for No

Learning to say ‘no’ can be very liberating. Have a few phrases to hand that help you politely decline invitations or requests you do not want to fulfil. “Thanks for the invite but I won’t be joining you” or “I’d love to help but I just have too much on at the moment.”

O is for Organisation

Getting organised and decluttering areas of your life can be a great way to recharge. Start with something small like your wardrobe. Make it fun and get a friend to help or get the whole family involved. Recycling to a charity means your efforts are making a difference to help others.

P is for Perfection

Give yourself permission NOT to be perfect. So many of us always strive for perfection – and it’s exhausting. Much better if you aim to DO your best rather than BE the best then you aren’t setting yourself up to fail.

Q is for Questions

When you need to make a big life decision ask yourself positive questions. For example, you are offered a new job and the first question that comes to mind is probably: “What if I don’t like it?” and “What if I can’t do it.”

Instead, drop “what if” and try something more upbeat: “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?” or “What would I tell my best friend to do in the same situation?” Positive questions are more likely to lead to the right decision.

R is for Reading

There is nothing quite like a good book. Don’t just save them for holidays because a book can be a real pick-me-up and give you something to look forward to. Go one step further and become a critic by joining a book club or even starting your own. One of my favourite reads is The Chimp Paradox. 

S is for Silencing your Gremlin

We all have a gremlin and they come in many forms. It’s the nagging voice in your head that tells you it won’t do you any harm to finish the box of chocolates even when you’re on a diet.

Your gremlin likes to think it’s in charge of your moods and will do all it can to sabotage any good feelings. Learn to recognise when it is trying to hijack you and find an activity to distract it.

T is for Time

“If only we had more time…” is a phrase we all find ourselves saying, though I’m sure if we did we would only fill it pretty quickly with more things to do. There are 168 hours in each week and we all make choices on how to use those hours. 

It’s essential that you allocate time well. Make sure you include doing the things you know will keep you energised. Try to be aware of your time-wasting ways so you know when to tell yourself to snap out of it. Try this Wheel of Life exercise to see where you should spend more time. 

U is for Unusual

Variety is the spice of life, so whether it is adding something totally outrageous to your wardrobe, collecting pictures of funny street signs or playing a random game of I-spy in the office, try doing something that creates fun, no matter how odd. Create some time each week to dedicate to it.

V is for Victim

It is helpful to remember you are human and sometimes you just won’t want to shake off the grump when things are not going your way. Simply give yourself permission to be “a victim” for ten minutes, then try to get positive again.

W is for Words of ­Inspiration

Some people seem to know just what to say to bring a smile to our faces. Even on Facebook, there will always be someone sharing some inspirational thought or picture. Keep a collection that can bring a smile instantly.


We all have our very own X factor. It will be something we do well or maybe something that makes us different. It may be a talent like singing or something seemingly simple, such as making an amazing roast dinner. If you find yourself looking at others’ talents and wishing you were like them, think about your X factor and remember what you can do rather than what you can’t.

Y is for Yoga

If this conjures up a picture of someone upside down with their legs wrapped around their neck, think again. Yoga is one of the most effective exercises for young or old at any level of fitness. You only need a few simple poses that stretch your body and leave you feeling relaxed and stress-free.

Z is for Zzzzzz

Sleep helps your body recharge and restore itself after a long day and helps your brain lay down new pathways. Going to bed at the same time each night, as far as possible, helps put your body into a healthy routine. 

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