Contrary to the widespread belief that rest and relaxation takes time, the opposite is true: rest and relaxation make time.

Recently I was in a rush, riding my bike to an important appointment downtown. On my way over the bridge, I noticed that my tires were low. How frustrating! I knew a bike store on my way where I could fill up my tires, but did I have enough time? I didn't want to risk being late at my appointment. Even though I felt pressured for time, I decided to stop at the bike shop and fill up my tires. Biking was a breeze with my freshly pumped tires; I was happy about my decision and arrived at my destination in what seemed like "no time." To my great surprise, I discovered that I was five minutes early.

This anecdote is a perfect analogy to what happens when you take the time to relax and refresh with Mini-Retreats. The 30 seconds to 5 minutes it takes to relax your body and mind are similar to my stop for air at the bike shop. You are taking time that you don't really have, since you are already running late (just like me on my way to the appointment). So next time you start to feel too busy, stressed, or overwhelmed, take time for a few deep breaths, do a few simple stretches, shake your body, laugh out loud, jump up and down or try any other Mini-Retreat that inspires you in the moment. Then as you return to your task, with your mind and body refreshed and fully functioning, the challenge that seemed hard or even insurmountable becomes manageable and might even seem easy. You'll be surprised how much more effective you'll be in the next hour, until it's time to take the next Mini-Retreat.

Give it a try and witness how you can create more time and ease in your day by making Mini-Retreats a healthy habit. When you find yourself staring at your computer screen for hours and pushing yourself through the day tired and exhausted, surviving on coffee, please know that you have chosen to hurry past the metaphorical bike shop. Imagine a biker pushing uphill with almost flat tires, huffing and puffing, arriving late at her/his appointment. Know that this frustrated and exhausted biker is you.

Which ride would you rather choose?

Author's Bio: 

Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and International speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer. For more information visit: