Busy. We’re all pretty busy these days.
Sometimes it feels like the work never ends. You’ve got to earn a paycheck. Then you’ve got to get the dishes and laundry done at home. By the time you crawl into bed, you’re feeling almost sub-human. The alarm goes off sooner than it should in the morning and each tomorrow becomes a repeat of each day before.
I know it’s so easy to think these repetitive days need to be endured, like running a first marathon. Except the secret to success is really in how you can recover instead of how long you can stay on your feet.
Here are some reasons why it might be wise to consider slowing down to concentrate on recovery.
#1. You are multitasking more than you realize. Each time you switch tasks, you’re consuming energy that your body needs. Something as simple as checking your phone while “taking a break” is you not taking a break. I recommend using resources that can let you track how many times you log into your phone during the day [or check Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram] to see just how busy you are during your down times.
#2. Staying active doesn’t give your mind a break. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do. It gives your mind a vacation from the responsibilities you’ve got going on during the day. I’ve found that after a period of “nothingness,” I start to getting the itch to do something. That’s my cue to know that it’s time to get started on something new.
#3. We are all connected to each other. Humans may be social creatures, but there is also value in spending some time on your own. Being around other people also means bearing their burdens. How many times have you listened to a co-worker vent about their home life? Or had an employee complain about their boss to you? Or read some random venting status update on social media? I’ve found that even unplugging for just 90 minutes can provide the right amount of relief.
#4. Work and home are blended like never before. How many times do you check your work email at home? Or take work calls when you’re spending time with your family? Personal and professional lives are blended like never before, which to the mind means you’re always on the clock. I have countered this issue by creating work-free zones within my home. If I’m there, then work is not, and that has helped to prevent high levels of mental exhaustion.
#5. Learn to let things go. In this political season, it’s pretty easy to adopt an us vs. them philosophy. The same could be said in other areas of life, like religion, socioeconomic status, online forums, and in our discussions we have with one another every day. I’ve found it is better to let things go, even if I disagree. If I’m getting riled up because I’m frustrated with someone else, then I’m not getting the chance to recover that I need.
Every day may be a marathon in some way, but that doesn’t mean we need to go 100% all the time to finish that race. Sometimes being able to take a break to recover can give us the right amount of rest that we need.
How do you recover after a tough day? I’d love to hear how you give yourself a chance to recover.