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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

Life is full of gray areas. Whether it's an awkward social situation or taboo question, my goal is to provide the perspective and solutions you didn't know you needed. Each week, I shine light into those murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topics to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (as you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Power Naps: The New Espresso and How to Take One Efficiently

 

Your eyes are burning and your head feels cloudy while you stare at the screen. The content on the screen swirl together and you feel so slow that you are barely comprehending the words, numbers, and images.  You don’t know how you can get through the day, so you take a break to grab some caffeine.  Sound familiar? That was me in my 20’s.

 

The 90’s, when I launched my career, was the No Pain, No Gain Era. Working too much felt like the only ticket to success. I drank lots of coffee and admired people who functioned on very little sleep.  I tried to sleep deprive myself, but it didn’t work. 

 

We have to stop apologizing for needing a break 

 

Burnout is at an all-time high of 42% and continues to increase. Nearly a quarter of adults rated their stress levels to be between eight and tenSince personal burnout impacts professional capabilities, it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves. There is no award for sleep deprivation.

 

Once you get over the guilt and honor your body’s needs, here are some simple tips for a productive power nap. For me, 30 minutes goes a long way.


 

Take an efficient power nap by getting over the guilt

 

There is nothing wrong with the above picture. Don’t waste your time shaming yourself. Taking a power nap will help maximize your potential and prevent burnout. A lot of us eat while working, driving, or sneaking random bites in between this and that, so why not take a snooze break?

 

Take an efficient power nap by getting comfortable

 

Create your own personal cocoon and do whatever you need to do to get your body to feel comfortable. This might mean rooting down, so all your limbs are resting and not stacked, or spread out.

 

 

 

Take an efficient power nap by taking slow, deep breaths

 

After you close your eyes, count five slow breaths in and five slow breaths out. Continue breathing slowly, like a wave going up and down the shoreline until you feel hear and feel your heartbeat slow down.

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Take an efficient power nap by calming your thoughts

 

Breathe through the thoughts that might be dominating your mind. The world will not crumble because you took a break. Whatever you have to do will be waiting in 20-30 minutes. 

 

Take an efficient power nap by setting a timer

 

Twenty minutes goes a long way.  Set a timer so you don’t oversleep. Give yourself ten more minutes if necessary. It’s usually the length of a quick lunch break. Note how you feel when you wake up.

 

Thinking about you…

 

  • How can you squeeze an efficient power nap into your day?

  • If you do take power naps, do you own or feel embarrassed by it?

Hi Beautiful Readers and thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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