There are natural cycles of output and input that guide our training, our work, and our life. It’s super important to stay aware of these rhythms, of where you’re at, of how you feel to maintain the right balance between work and rest, effort and ease.
When you’re doing something that you care about, it’s easy to fixate on all the things you’re not doing — all the output that’s not happening. This has been especially true for me this year. Jasyoga has long given me a sense of purpose, it’s my mission — to help athletes use yoga to become more balanced and resilient. And up until a year ago, I had the privilege of dedicating all of my time to this mission.
Then I had a baby. When she was born I made a conscious decision that what was best for our family was for me to be with her full time for her first year. I simultaneously assumed I’d be able to manage the same high work capacity I’ve always been accustomed to, and also have plenty of time to get on the mat myself and live my mission.
It’s no surprise that this year has felt like a roller coaster physically, mentally, and emotionally. Output has been in the driver’s seat while only a tiny voice in the back of my head has been asking “What about me?”. When I actually take the time to pause and assess, I realize I am doing way more than I realize and that what I crave most is rest and opportunities to fill myself back up. I’ve achieved most of my goals this year, but I know this could have been done much more sustainably and easefully. Looking back, I shake my head at how unrealistic my expectations of myself were this year, but I also smile at my optimism. I still think that I, that you, that everyone can have it all, but only with the right balance, and that’s something that’s different for everyone, everyday.
Are you tired of being tired? I am. Lets commit to making recovery a practical, daily practice — not something on our to do list, but an intentional pause to fill ourselves back up so that we can be more effective in everything that we do.
Here’s a few of my go-to recovery moves:
- Meditate. Whether you have 2 minutes or 20, make it happen. Especially when you feel like you don’t have time, a quick meditation will help you much more easefully manage whatever comes at you. This recovery meditation is a good place to start.
- Celebrate all the things you are doing. Needless to say the opposite is super draining. Being positive about your output will help you be realistic about what you’re able to accomplish and set you up for more success.
- Slow down significantly. Recognize when that frazzled feeling is creeping on you and consciously slow down, rather than becoming reactive to the mounting to do list. You’ll accomplish way more as a result.
- Create space between activities. Simply pausing and taking 3 deep breaths between the activities of your day will help you be more present and effective with the task at hand.
- Put your legs up the wall. If you do one yoga pose, this should be it. It’s the king, the queen of recovery.
- Keep your phone away from your bed. This one is surprisingly tough. I’m working on it.
- Err on the side of rest. Even if you feel like a superhero (even they need time to recharge), make time for rest.
What does real recovery look like for you? How do you fill yourself up? I’d love to hear your go-to restorative practices — please share with #hitreset.