As an athlete, I have always been aware of the importance of recovery and rest when it comes to the body. I KNOW that if I am training hard, but neglecting adequate recovery time, I won't be able to sustain the level of fitness required to progress. I know this because my body tells me.
Athletes and people who are fitness oriented tend to be pretty self aware when it comes to knowing when the body needs rest - but not all the time. In fact, my current training plan has built in recovery days to prevent me from overdoing it because sometimes I have a tendency of overdoing it. But lately, I look forward to those recovery days!
When it comes to everything else in my life though, I haven't haven’t always followed the same line of thinking. In fact, in this season of growing a business and taking care of two wild boys, rest is something I struggle with giving to myself. In the past I felt that I need to utilize every second of every hour available to me - but I learned that is completely unrealistic and unsustainable.
The concept of recovery, particularly as it relates to our body, is pretty damn simple. When it comes to fitness, we need rest if we expect to see an increase in strength, endurance, energy, and even fat loss. If we try and put out the same amount of energy without recovery, it won’t be sustainable.
The same is true for our lifestyle. If we are “on” (at work and at home) and never incorporate adequate downtime (and fun time), we will burn out. If we are nourishing ourselves with junk, or skipping meals, we are doing our body (and mind) a disservice. If we are neglecting sleep & ignoring stress, how can we expect our bodies to provide energy when we aren't giving it anything in return?
In the world of high-performers, it’s common to ignore what the body & mind are saying to us – and instead demand more. We don’t want to be told we need to do rest because we are addicted to the idea that we must keep going.
Truth: We can’t ask our body to do more if we aren’t in a state to handle more.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we kick up our feet and take a siesta everyday because it isn’t realistic for most of us. Chasing big goals requires a lot of energy. And, like athletes who push past their threshold to get to the next level, we need to incorporate recovery. If we don’t, and we are pushing that threshold without taking equal rest – our body will begin to break down.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body. As a society, we are showing signs of this through adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, hormone imbalances – you name it. We are putting stress on our bodies over long periods of time, and it’s causing our cortisol levels to either go through the roof or disappear.
And that isn’t good.
We wonder why we can’t get through the day without hitting a wall, why we feel off physically & emotionally, and why we are slow to take action. We feel these things because we aren’t taking care of ourselves. We all know this, yet we ignore it. And you know what? In our society it has become some kind of badge of honor. The more insane our schedules are - the more we limit recovery & rest – the more accomplished we feel.
That’s messed up, right? But…you know it’s true.
Instead of building in recovery, we negotiate our resting hours for things that don’t serve us. We take the act of hustling to a new level. And we've given it a bad rap.
What is it costing you? What would happen if (gasp!) you gave yourself time?
This isn’t just about sleep. This is about managing the stress of each day by incorporating pockets of time for yourself. Schedule time for a Netflix binge, a mini workout, or quick getaway – a weekend wellness retreat in Lake Las Vegas.
Give yourself permission to replace “doing” with “resting”.
I say, calendar that shit out! I started to get myself in the habit of giving back to my body by actually scheduling time to do nothing. Yep, in my calendar it says things like – “rest” or “do nothing”. I’m trained to do it with my physical training, so it makes sense for me to do the same with my regular daily calendar.
I know, I know…it sounds ridiculous. But to turn a behavior into a habit you need to practice it.
It freaks you out, doesn’t it?
That’s because the thing we resist the most in our prioritizing our health, is the thing we need the most.
I get it. I’m still working on it. But you know what I’ve learned?
Once you give yourself permission to fit in the recovery, you make space for a lot of growth.
- You are more rested, so you are happier.
- Your body recovers, so your immune system gets stronger.
- You feel better, so you perform better.
I am a huge advocate for hustling, it’s how I’m wired – after all, my dad always says, “I’ll rest when I’m dead”. But even I have come to appreciate and understand the importance of pairing it with recovery. If the two partner up, and we are responding to the hustle with the rest we need, it’s a hell of a lot easier to take action.
Why wouldn’t we want to make it easier on ourselves to perform at a higher level?
Athletes need more recovery, not less. They need more recovery to perform at that level. So, as you continue to play big, you must incorporate more time for recovery to perform at a high level.
Get out your calendar, I dare you!
And remember the Lake Las Vegas Refresh retreat closes in less than 48 hours. I’d love to help you elevate your health in a relaxed setting with like-minded people. Come join me! Contact me if you'd like to discuss if it's the right fit for you!