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  • Dr. Russ Reinbolt

Chill Out Man!Shut it down sometimes

I just had the perfect vacation.

Like most people, it’s hard for me to shut it off for a while. If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably like me in that you like to “get shit done!” Successful people thrive under pressure. We set goals and work toward them. We are always thinking of what’s on our to-do list.

After my most recent race, I needed some down time. It can’t always be go, go, go. For a while now, I’ve been very busy. My new job for the last six months as a Locum tenens (traveling doctor) and my hard ultra-training, make it challenging to relax adequately.

In previous posts, I have mentioned the importance of balancing work and rest. Many people struggle with this.

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to Hawaii, our favorite place. I told myself to take advantage of this opportunity to slow down both physically and mentally. Boy, did it pay off.

Every morning, I enjoyed a pleasurable but not intense workout. I’m sure most people would love to take a break from exercise while on vacation, but as you know, I’m not like most people. (Hold your laughs!)

I either ran a chill ten miler or did some maintenance-intensity strength training session in the ritzy hotel gym. Then I would join my family for a healthy, delish breakfast taking in the tropical ocean views.

For the next six hours or so, I would sit pool side with my laptop, working on a fun project. (More on that later!) Like clockwork, I took an afternoon nap, placing a super high priority on this.

I made sure to take time to pray, meditate and daydream. I would stare off into space and take in the gorgeous blue ocean views. I would close my eyes, feel the wind, and hear the birds chirping.

After a light dinner, I’d sip a beer or two watching the sunset from the hot tub, then retire to the hotel room to watch sports news. I always went to bed around 9:30, sleeping on the lanai (porch), falling asleep to the sound of the ocean waves and Hawaiian breezes.

I check my resting pulse as soon as I wake up every day, using this as an indicator of my general health/stress balance. Over the last few months, my heart rate had been ten to twenty beats per minute higher than usual.

On vacation, it was consistently around forty. Obviously, the trip was just what I needed.

Moral of the story: Chill out occasionally. It will do your body and your soul good.



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