We’re going into one of the most hectic, task and errand-filled times of the year.  All the more reason to take note that downtime is essential for our mental and physical health – yet most of us don’t make enough time for it. If you feel you’ll benefit from even one of these in your life, it’s probably time for you to schedule in some Downtime.  Yes, Downtime, with a capital “D”.

Here are eight science-backed reasons why everyone needs downtime:

1. Downtime reduces stress.
If you live an overscheduled life, your body is in a constant state of stress, leading to several mental and physical health problems. Taking time to relax and unwind can help reduce stress and promote better health.

2. Downtime boosts creativity.
If you’re stuck in a rut, some downtime may be just what you need to jumpstart your creativity. When you’re always busy, your mind never has a chance to wander and explore new ideas. When you let yourself relax, your mind is free to wander and come up with new and innovative ideas. Consider keeping a small notebook handy, so you don’t stress later, trying to remember your great ideas.

3. Downtime improves focus.
It seems counterintuitive, but taking time for yourself can help you be more productive when working. If you are too busy, your brain becomes overloaded, and it becomes difficult to focus on any one thing. By taking some time to relax, you’re giving your brain a chance to rest and recharge. When you start working again, you’ll be better able to focus and be more productive.

4. Downtime helps you sleep better.
If sleeping has become difficult for you, it may be because you’re not giving yourself enough time to wind down before bed. Your body needs sleep preparation time. So when you take some unplugged time for yourself before bed, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

5. Downtime gives your body a chance to heal.
Your mind and body reset and repair during resting time, so you can heal. When you take time for yourself, your body will work on repairing any damage, and you can return stronger than before.

6. Downtime helps you make better decisions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choices, some downtime may be just what you need. The feeling of overwhelm can cause impulsive decisions without thinking things through if you have no downtime. But if you take some time to relax and clear your mind, you’re more likely to make thoughtful, well-informed decisions.

7. Downtime improves your relationships.
Your relationships will suffer if you feel overworked. When you’re constantly doing something, you’ll have less time to invest in your relationships, and they can start to feel strained. But if you take some time for yourself, you can focus on your relationships and make them stronger.

8. Downtime helps you find your purpose.
When you are constantly on the go, losing sight of what’s essential in life is easy. But when you take time for self-care and self-discovery, you can reflect on what’s truly important to you and focus on your life’s purpose.

Hopefully, now that you see how vital it is, in so many ways, you are inspired to make time for yourself and enjoy the benefits of some Downtime.

Heading out, myself, for a walk around the neighborhood, and wishing you some moments of Downtime, in the very near future!