You work hard every day which is why you were looking forward to a much deserved vacation. You anticipated the tranquility of two weeks away from the stress of daily life. You know how important it is to get away to recharge. The problem is, your vacation is over, you are back to work and you are still exhausted. You are not alone.

As a culture, we have lost sight of the value of rest. So much so, that we expend extra energy and finances seeking an escape during our time off that we come back even more drained than when we left. You don’t need to go on a cruise, a shopping spree, or binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy. You need to REST. Here are four easy steps to help you make the most of your time off.

R – Recuperate Physically

Two of the most foundational needs are sleep and nutrition. Yet these are the two we neglect the most. We ‘reward’ ourselves for our hard work and discipline by staying up late and eating poorly. No wonder you are still exhausted after your time off. Studies have long since confirmed the benefits of sleeping 8 hours a night and enjoying a balanced diet. Sleep. Eat better. Give your body the chance to recover.

E – Exercise Moderately

The Mayo Clinic lists 7 benefits to exercise. It increases your energy, lifts your mood, controls your weight, promotes better sleep, and increases your energy. It also puts the spark back into your sex life. If you haven’t exercised in a while, moderation will help you get into a groove. If it is part of your regular routine, moderation will keep your weekly rhythm intact. Start slow. Keep going. Exercise also combats health conditions and diseases. http://

S – Stimulate Mentally

Many make the mistake of ‘vegging’ in order to relax. Actually, stimulation is often the key to relaxation. Cross-training is a popular form of physical exercise. Stimulate a different area of your brain during your time off. If your job is physically demanding – try reading for pleasure. If your job is spent data-crunching numbers, try an outdoor activity like gardening or something creative like scrap-booking. Dr. Cynthia Green, one of the country’s foremost experts, has many resources to help you cross-train your brain.

T – Take a Step Back

I’m not talking about moving backwards from all the progress you have made. I’m referring to the benefit that a different perspective can bring to your current situation. Try to distance yourself from the stress you are experiencing at work. Have you noticed how you give amazing advice to your co-worker? You have clarity where they do not simply because of your distance from the situation. Back up, and force yourself to look at your circumstances differently. It just might provide the break-through you are looking for, while allowing you to finally release that issue and relax.

These four simple steps will help you get the REST you need. During your time off allow yourself to Recuperate physically – eat right and get a good night’s sleep. Get moving and Exercise moderately to enjoy all the health benefits of an active lifestyle. Stimulate yourself mentally with a cross-training style approach and then Take a step back to gain a healthy perspective on your current situation.

Sometimes an event will help provide the jumpstart you need to implement a new process. This is why Sunrise Center for Wellness is hosting the Rest and Renewal mini-retreat on Saturday, November 4th at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way. Click HERE to sign up for a relaxing morning of individual activities, group sessions, and some light stretching to live harp music. Breakfast is included. I look forward to seeing you there.