The word siesta is Spanish and originates from Latin meaning “the sixth hour.” Counting down from dawn, we hit the sixth hour at noon, signalling the “mid-day rest.” Although it originated in Spain, many Latin American countries have carried on the tradition with the midday meal being the biggest one, followed by a 15 to 30 minute nap. Still a practice in Spain, many businesses will close between 2 and 4 pm as this is a gathering time for families to connect and take a break from the warm temperatures.
Although Western culture doesn’t allow our working schedules to accommodate a two hour break, we can still learn from the tradition of a siesta. Purposefully slowing down on our lunch break can be an important part of feeding our comfort system. Very often, we will use that time to rush around doing errands while cramming in a sandwich. Instead, if we choose to create some space to rest over lunch, it can allow us to re-energize while helping our system to relax and feel rewarded.
The tradition of a siesta; a good practice that we can adjust and incorporate into our day as part of our self-care routine. As they say in Spanish, “Buen trabajo!” (Good job!)
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