I remember traveling to Mexico years ago and having the restaurants and stores all close for a while in the afternoons, generally after lunchtime. Usually for a couple of hours. I also experienced this when in Italy after having a beautiful brunch only to be rushed out so everyone could go enjoy their siesta.
A siesta is a short nap generally taken in the early afternoon, just after lunch. This is a tradition, or some would call it a habit in some countries, particularly where there is warmer weather. Apparently, the combination of eating lunch and the higher temperatures can cause drowsiness, so a break was considered necessary. This was interesting to me at the time as I was younger and full of energy as well as being on vacation. So, the idea that things were just shutting down was a bit annoying at the time.
As I grew older, I realized there is actually something to this whole siesta thing. When I became a Mom, I realized how important it was for my kids to nap and rest during the day. Even though it was a fight sometimes to get them to actually wind down for a nap, they were so much more relaxed, healthy, and balanced because of it. I also learned very quickly how important it was for me to take a siesta simultaneously to feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day.
Another word for a siesta is a power nap, which is just a quick close of the eyes, maybe for ten to twenty minutes. If you allow yourself more time than this, you may find yourself even more tired than before. Research has found that the benefits of taking a siesta are many, including elevating your mood and improving your productivity and creativity. Naps have also been linked to helping manage stress and improving overall health in terms of blood pressure, digestion, and cardiovascular.
When I was younger, I remember struggling to nap because my mind was always racing in many directions. But I learned how to incorporate some easy ways to get into a quick relaxation mode to have a successful siesta. Below are things that have helped me.
First, find a quiet place to escape to where you can put your feet up and relax. Then, set your alarm for between 10 and 30 minutes, so you don't oversleep. You may even use an eye mask or earphones to enhance the experience. I learned to use the 4-7-8 breathing technique to get into a quick deep relaxation mode. Breathe in through the nose while counting to 4. Hold your breath for the count of 7. Then, exhale through the mouth for the count of 8.
Your siesta days and times will vary depending on where you are in life, but I know for sure that when you take the time for an afternoon nap, you will realize just how beneficial it is. I believe that it is just another important way for you to enjoy your most balanced and beautifulife.
My affirmation for you today is:
“I will make time whenever possible to enjoy an afternoon siesta to relax, rejuvenate and revitalize my spirit.”