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Rest vs. Break-Is there a place for both?

Mandi Graziano

I recently got bit by the Covid bug--again. I knew instantly the second I got the sniffles on Friday. I prayed it was just food intolerance but unfortunately, it got worse, quickly.

My voice started to sound like Bea Arthur, may she rest in peace, then BAM! I tested positive. I DID NOT have time to be sick as I needed to be on the road the following week. I was committed to healing and healing fast!

I set a meticulous strategy and learned some fascinating things along the way that I want to share with you.

The Routine

My routine Monday to Saturday went as like this;


6:00 a.m.: Wake up, meditate, shower, tea, vitamins.

7:00 a.m: Work, drink as much water as possible, eat greens and lean proteins, avoid dairy and gluten (inflammatory foods are no bueno for a sicko).

3:00p.m.-6:00p.m.: Wind down, eat dinner, light dog walk.

6:00p.m.-7:30p.m.: Theraflu, hydrate, get into bed.

7:30p.m.: Fall asleep.

I basically had 12 hours of sleep every night and my body loved it. This was a new level of rest. I mean this was professional Olympic-style resting! I rested so hard I should have won a gold medal on the podium! At the end of the week, not only did I test negative for Covid, I felt GREAT. My skin was glowing. My hair was bouncy. My thoughts were clear.

I lost four pounds in six days without even working out once! Okay… that made me a little nervous… but resting did wonders both physically and spiritually.

Rest vs. Breaks

Now I’m also a proponent of breaks, which are different than rest. In fact, I talk about them so frequently that I was invited to discuss them in depth on the improveit Podcast!. I learned the power of breaks from the undeniably awesome executive women’s coach Dr. Alessandra Wall. You need to follow her because she is such a champion of all things women's performance health!

My current break strategy is -- take a five-minute micro-break every 90 minutes. I either set timers or schedule these as recurring appointments in my calendar. There's not much to it but the break HAS to be intentional. So this means no screen time or mindless scrolling.

It’s a true eyeball and brain break.

Break Examples:

Stare outside while letting go of any thoughts.

Throw the ball for my dog.

Watch nature like birds or leaves blowing.

Get so

me fresh air

People watch in the front yard.

Give my husband a huge hug.

Not only do these breaks fill up my cup but they literally refuse neural pathways for better

brain performance. According to Cornell Health at Cornell University, taking small breaks throughout the day reduces stress symptoms, increases energy, and contributes to overall better performance.

I LOVE BREAKS! However, I learned during Covid week that there IS a difference between REST from BREAKS. We need both to function optimally.

REST = RESTORE. True rest, for example, when you close your eyes and sleep, is much longer than a break. This level of rest not only involves sleep, it means you’re giving your body a break from digesting all the hard food it normally processes. It’s giving your eyes and mind a rest from the constant stress we put on them throughout the day. Ultimately it's giving your physical body a pause to repair itself. Jenny Perin talks a lot about allowing your body a digestion break while you sleep.

BREAKS = REBOOT. Breaks keep you going, build endurance, and provide a reboot to maintain performance. They essentially fuel the day-to-day. Consistent micro-breaks should be spaced out throughout the day. Schedule them! You won't regret it!

This whole last bout with Covid made me realize--I need both REST and BREAKS.

In the past, I was strong at incorporating BREAKS into the day but had not practiced the art of REST as frequently as I did BREAKS. After Covid week I am baking in REST to my schedule! It's a nonnegotiable.

Every six weeks I will REST. This means, going back to that Covid schedule and being intentional with my routine (I already popped them in my calendar).

People may say:

“Are you crazy, you can’t fit this in your schedule?”

And I say:

“If I don’t, I won’t have control over my schedule because I’ll be exhausted, doing double w

ork, making mistakes."

Join Me, We're Better Together

Mom (TV Series 2013–2021)

I am embarking upon a 'REST-O-RAMA' experiment from December 2023 to December 2024 to see how this aids in inflammation, brain performance, and peace of mind.

Rising tides lift all ships. I’d like to invite you to join me in this challenge to elevate together as a community. I am accepting five people per rest period so we can hold each other accountable! We'll have a call at the beginning and end of the week to share our findings with each other. Let's build a community of Olympic Style Resters! Send me a DM on Instagram with the message "REST-O-RAMA".

Even if you aren’t one of the lucky five pals to formally join the 'REST-O-RAMA', I double dog dare you to think about how you BREAK, how you REST, and how you plan for both. Let me know your results and please do share any hot tips or hacks with me and our community for yo

ur next best rest (you knew I had to get a rhyme in here somewhere)!

Mandi Graziano: Bestselling Author of 'Sales Tales,' an Engaging Inspirational Speaker, and Founder of Facetime Coaching Company. She transforms entrepreneurs and sales teams by coaching them to use clever tactics, to be better business people and in life.

Follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram.


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