Wellness Wednesday: Beyond Relaxation to Renewal 

Most of us are familiar with the recommendation to relax on a regular basis. We are all familiar with the ravages of stress and the problems associated with insufficient sleep. We generally think of relaxation as the antidote. To most people this means to physically rest or sleep , and to be quiet and still. There is no doubt that some of this kind of time is good on a daily basis, especially if it is done in a mindful fashion such as in meditation.

But sometimes we need more than relaxation. We need renewal. Renewal goes beyond relaxation. It is similar to relaxation in that it is a break from the usual work routine. However, after that, the similarities end. Renewal is more planned. It may involve physical activity, such as exercise, or an outdoor adventure. It may even involve a challenge. It often involves other people, especially people who are new to you. It involves unfamiliarity, learning and even getting outside of one’s comfort zone. 

Productivity experts are extolling such “ strategic renewal” as the newest productivity tool in the success toolbox. This concept can be utilized on different time schedules: daily, weekly , monthly, quarterly. 

Daily Renewals 

  • exercise 
  • meditation 
  • reading 
  • connect with close family and friends 

Weekend Renewals: 

  • connect with farther flung family and friends, socialize and entertain
  • patronizing the arts 
  • sports 
  • spiritual observance
  • volunteer
  • outdoors 
  • reading 
  • exercise 
  • creative pursuits outside of work 

Monthly or Quarterly renewal: 

  • adventures 
  • conferences 
  • different kinds of work projects 
  • travel

See to the basics first: adequate sleep, regular exercise, and good nutrition. Ensure some relaxation on a daily basis. But go beyond all this and try to start thinking about renewal as well. 

To learn more :

See our sections on Sleep Yoga and Meditation 


Huffington Post 

New York Times 

Stanford University Cafe Science

What Most Successful People Do On the Weekend, by Lauren Vanderkam