Experiments with Wellness and Short Getaways
This weekend I went to Church Haven with some friends to relax. We only stayed one night and ended up boating for the whole day, the header image does the scenery no justice (Church Haven is a lagoon) and has to be one of the most amazing places on the planet.
In ‘New Years Resolutions, Optimization & Travel‘ I wrote a bit about my desire to take more holidays in 2015 and plan my year better. 2015 has been a good year for me so far and aside from being a little slow with my reading list I know I will catchup soon.
Part of this effort is of course stress management and having worked at some of the worlds leading anti ageing centers and law firms I have interacted with many people more successful than myself. All of them recognize how dangerous stress can be.
In then 2006 Merryl Lynch London had a great strategy to reduce stress in the corporate environment. Class based contact style exercise that had even the fittest instructors on duty anxious. Imagine 15 angry corporates under the most intense pressure of their lives facing you with one thing in the way, a punching bag (right after 2 minutes of burpees so you know they are pissed).
This reminded me that holidays need not be an extended 3- 5 days off! They can be short, intense and you get all the benefits of a longer stay because you appreciate it way more. If you live in the Western Cape there are absolutely no excuses for not getting into the wild once a week to relax. My favorite places include Table Mountain, Silvermine and now Church Haven 🙂
The H.I.T Method Applied to Sleep & Relaxation
I think society has an established view that over working oneself is some kind of glamorous affair where ‘only the strong survive’. Working into the night is seen as a right of passage. As is eating trash.
Lord knows, I have worked 36 hours straight once when I was a barman in London (the overtime was too good to pass up) and yet if there is a connection between the quality and span of a life, SLEEP has been identified as a significant risk factor in the length and quality of your time on this planet.
What the researchers found was that if people slept less than 7 hours a night or more than 8 hours a night, they had an increased risk of death. For short sleep women, that increase was 21% (men: 26%) and for long sleeping women, the increase was 17% (men: 24%). If the participants reported using sleep medications, their risk for death also increased. Women using them had a 39% increase in risk while men had a 31% increase. Over the course of the study, 30% of the participants changed their sleep habits. The most common change was to shift from stable sleep to short or long sleep. These shifts were also linked to increased risk of mortality. Article