One thing that impressed me recently, and which is particularly important for those preparing for exams, or leading very hectic lives -
The importance of relaxation to refuel and synthesise
I had two glorious afternoons off last weekend - after a jam-packed term of deadlines, my Doctorate assignments were completed, with only one meeting to prepare for, and the exam rush was starting to die down, so I treated myself to two afternoons to myself! (I really needed the rest!) I spent the time with my daughter, eating in the garden, chatting, and even reading some fiction. (Since being a Doctorate student, I rarely find the time to read purely for pleasure, alas.) The weather was perfect and I felt very at one, watching the birds venturing close, in search of the upturned worms on a freshly-mowed lawn. (Yes, I actually made time to mow the lawn too!)
Apart from the deep sense of contentment at the time, what really impressed me was the focus and energy that I had on Monday morning - I achieved so much in just a few hours; the usual mountains of paperwork, tasks, etc. seemed more like mere tufts of grass, and everything was so much more relaxed! Normally on Monday mornings I am busy, busy, busy, checking emails, marking, etc., but yesterday morning felt so different, and what made the difference was ... the rest!
As a teacher and trainee psychologist, I so often remind my students and clients about the importance of taking time for yourself, slowing down the frenzied pace we are so used to in the western world, and taking time to enjoy what's around you - the friends, family, food, nature, etc. It's this connection with our environment that keeps us alive! It also allows us to recharge our batteries, so that our thinking and actions are that much more efficient and 'clear minded'.
So, for all you busy people out there, take a moment to refuel and synthesise! Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be reminded of the magic of rest. I hope I don't forget it in a hurry!