Help Me Rhonda: Give yourself a break |

Help Me Rhonda: Give yourself a break

Rhonda Beckham

You might guess I’d be an early riser, usually around 5 a.m. these days. I go nonstop until noon or one then it’s nap time. I used to feel a little embarrassed, even guilty to admit I needed a nap like the days of kindergarten.

I now realize that nap time was more to give the teachers a break from the chaos, which is why I so desperately love my midday rests. More than rejuvenating my body, a 20 to 30 minute rest gives my mind a much needed break. I can then restart my day feeling energized and focused.

I have learned to actually schedule midday rejuvenation time into my appointment book which makes those 5 a.m. wake-ups not so brutal. It also ensures that my clients still want to see me for another appointment, as I am like a crabby 3-year-old when I’m too tired; life just isn’t as cheerful.

Research shows that you can reduce stress, become more alert and improve thought processes with a nap. A “power nap” can give you better health, more patience, less stress and more efficiency.

Studies have also shown that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more rest than 20 minutes more sleep in the morning. Most people’s bodies naturally become more tired in the afternoon, about eight hours after we wake up.

If you need a little coaxing, check out “Permission to Nap: Taking Time to Restore Your Spirit,” by Jill Murphy Longmore. She says, “like our French brothers and sisters, who enjoy a 35-hour work week, or in Spain, where a siesta is a must, we can come to enjoy, embrace and revel in a little lovely shut-eye.”

Consider taking a “mental” break from your workday. Find a quiet place – your car, a desk, the park, anywhere you can get some downtime, and you’ll notice the rest of your day is much more productive.

If you don’t have the time or place for a power nap, try meditation. It gives your body and mind a rest that will give you more energy to meet the demands of the rest of your day.

The three steps of a “here and now” meditation technique are:

– Remind yourself that you exist here and now.

– Just be aware of the activities going on in and around you at this moment.

– From now onwards start doing everything with awareness.

– Plan to try one of my intenSati classes beginning May 1 and you’ll learn more about meditating while exercising your body.

Rhonda Beckham is owner of Help Me Rhonda Personal Fitness Training. She is a nationally certified personal trainer operating out of Kahle Community Center and Sierra Athletic Club, and a Pilates instructor at Emerald Bay Physical Therapy. She may be reached at 530-208-6369, and by e-mail at

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