Use The Word “Recovery” Instead of “Rest”

Use The Word “Recovery” Instead of “Rest”

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In race training, Rest Days are very important. The idea is you don’t do any physical activity to give your body a rest. Give it a break for a day or two, especially when you are in intense training. Running everyday can result in injury. In general, doing too much too fast too can result in injury. An artist friend decided to make a new year’s resolution to draw every single day instead of just once a week. A few weeks in, keeping up the streak, he seriously injured his wrist. No matter what you’re doing, rest days are important.

Rest days are important in our day-to-day life as well. We need to give ourselves social and emotional breaks. However, as you sit at home all day being a slug on the couch, watching back to back movies, tv marathons, and playing video games… it’s easy to feel guilty about that.

We make ourselves feel that if we’re not doing anything “productive”, it’s not worth doing.

Believe it or not, sometimes resting is being productive.

Recovery Days Not Rest Days

Stop calling these rest days. Call them recovery days. Because, physically, your body or brain is not actually resting on rest days. You, yourself, are resting. But your muscles aren’t, they are recovering. Your muscles are repairing themselves, growing stronger, getting leaner, or tighter. Even while you sit on the couch, your muscles are actively recovering from the physical activity you did yesterday.

This is the same for our mind. If you were out all day yesterday or the past few days, running errands, making plans, shopping, visiting with friends, or networking at events, you need a day to emotionally recover. Your brain needs to repair its energy level and to process the friendships and connections you’ve made.

For some reason, we feel guilty about this. Resting. Relaxing. Feels like it is something to be done when all the other tasks are done. That it is something to do “if there’s time.”

Treat Recovery As A Task

Add “recover” to your to-do list. No, sleeping isn’t necessarily the same as recovering. Recovery is a process. Physically it is a process for your muscles. Mentally it is a process for your brain. Treating recovery as a priority is a part of making plans and living life as an adult.

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2 Replies to “Use The Word “Recovery” Instead of “Rest””

  1. Great point. I often feel guilty when I take time to do nothing, but if it follows a big period of accomplishment, then it’s often not just a well deserved break, but a much required one!

    1. That’s a great point too. Especially a large accomplishment like finishing a project, recovering is important to process what went well and what you can do differently next time. Taking this recovery time prevents you from rushing right into another project, possibly making similar mistakes because you didn’t have time to fully recover in between.

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