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July – They Don’t Call It Summer Vacation for Nothing


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Summer is in full swing and the doldrums are starting to set in. But don’t let summer fly by without the chance to relax and unplug. If you’re anything like most Americans, and me, it’s easy to get caught up in a ‘day to day’ routine.

With extra daylight you might convince yourself to extend the workday because it’s still light outside. Consistently extending the workday comes with consequences: overtime fatigue, crankiness and lack of focus.

My dad was a wallpaper hanger for 47 years, I get it. Work is the backbone of our existence. But at the same time, don’t lose sight of the benefits of rest. Science explains if you push yourself through too many hours or days of work, ultimately, your brain starts to push back. Ideas that once came quickly begin to slow down to a grinding halt. Easy tasks become difficult. Then we work harder trying to compensate without improved results.

Make sure you build in some shorts breaks during the day. Allow your mind a chance to fix itself on a different task. Take a vacation. Summer is for vacation. Allow yourself enough time to get completely relaxed. Treat yourself to an afternoon off. A regularly scheduled afternoon break may provide the balance that leads to more productivity in the workplace.

Finally, I like the sound of this one, take a mid-day nap. You read that right, I just said a mid-day nap. Evidence shows people who take naps are more alert, more productive and less prone to mistakes. Strategic rest is healthy and essential to a high quality of life.

We constantly stress that your actions today will create better opportunities for tomorrow. Do not confuse rest with inaction. For your overall health, a little bit of rest and relaxation is just the action you need to take in order to stay sharp, on your game and able to take advantage of the opportunities that wait ahead.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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