For those who are friends with me on Facebook you know that I’m in one of those boot camp/transformation gyms. It’s not quite Cross-fit, but you get the idea. I’m working out four days a week, at 5:00 a.m., and during my upcoming 8-week challenge, I’ll be there five days a week.
Today is a “recovery day” for me. My Tuesday lower body workout is really tough. I am wiped out by Tuesday mid-day. My body needed a little extra sleep today (I was up at 5:15 a.m., rather than my usual 4:00 a.m.). I had a slower pace getting ready for work this morning. All in all, I feel refreshed.
Like many of you, I also took a vacation this summer. I prefer that my vacations include a beach, along with an awesome pool with lounge-chair service, because that’s what I find relaxing. I’ve done the “6 theme parks in 7 days” vacations, and I come back exhausted. I need my summer vacation to rejuvenate me. Sure, we took a couple side trips to visit some local sites, but, all in all, we spent a lot of time at the resort.
And isn’t that what recovery days and vacations are about? Rest. Rejuvenation. Allowing our minds and bodies to heal. Taking a well-needed break. Balancing ourselves. Letting go of what we need to let go of.
So why do we fight it?
When it is apparent we need a “mental health day,” we grit our teeth and get into the office even earlier.
Vacations, if taken at all, are planned around WiFi availability.
Sure I checked my email while on vacation, only to delete all the crap that could be deleted, and to forward along the few things to my team that had to be handled. But I was off the grid many a day, and guess what? They did just fine without me.
To give you my best, in the gym or in the office, I need to be at my best. I need my mind clear. My body rested. My spirit whole.
So why do we fight it?
Insecurity? Fear? Boredom? Dread?
It turns out that there is this rare breed of person who appears to be able to take a vacation and “go off the grid” with no guilt or worry. For the rest of us, it is a rarely used muscle that has to be conditioned.
The first time I really went off the grid was when the Sports Dude and I took our honeymoon. We were on a cruise and had no WiFi. We simply put our phones in the safe, and just cruised down the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico. I admit, it was really weird at first. And then it became divine.
What I found was that once I went off the grid once, and saw that my little world survived just fine for those few days, it became easier the next time around. I even looked forward to it. More importantly, I realized how much I need a full and complete break now and again. Sometimes an afternoon is all I need to recover. Other times it’s a full day, or a weekend. Unplugging and technology Sabbaths are even becoming a thing.
Try it. Slowly at first. Take a “recovery” (mental health) day or afternoon, and stay off your phone. Maybe expand that to a technology Sabbath, or a whole weekend off the grid. A couple months later, perhaps you’ll be ready for a long weekend unplugged. Who knows? If you condition that new muscle long enough, you’ll be ready for an afternoon of doing just this: