Rest is for the weak and weary. Right? Wrong. So, so wrong. As human beings, we’ve somehow created this race against ourselves to go harder and push longer until we can’t take it, and then, we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and beat ourselves up all over again.
Keep hustling hard and you’ll win, right? Nope. We should absolutely push ourselves and our limits to reach our goals. We can’t continue to grow if we otherwise, but we also have to be more gentle with ourselves and allow ourselves recovery time.
If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I’m hooked on Crossfit. I love the workout and constantly challenging my body. But I know that recovery time is just as important in order for me to reach my peak performance.
It’s when we rest that our body adapts to the effects of training. It makes us more resilient. The same goes for the brain.
Research has shown that the lack of recovery, whether by disrupting sleep with thoughts of work or having continuous cognitive arousal by watching our phones, is costing companies $62 billion a year in lost productivity.
That staggering statistic alone should give you cause to take a pause for some recovery. How can you become more resilient? Plan your recovery time.
Take it offline.
Schedule breaks throughout the day to shut down and walk away from all electronics. Go grab yourself a cup of coffee without your smartphone in-hand.
Try having a conversation with a colleague or just some quiet alone time. I bet the coffee will taste even better that way.
I recently got a dog. Since I work from home, having my little canine pal offers me built in mental health breaks. I didn’t realize how damaging my extended periods of screen time truly were.
Time focusing on your body can help to rest your mind. You don’t have to do Crossfit, like me – just go for a walk or a run. Do whatever works for you, but do it regularly.
If you don’t already have a routine, start small and work your way up, but carve time out on your calendar for it. It will help to clear your mind and even help you get better sleep.
Get your calendar out now and pick dates for your next vacation. Make vacations a regular occurrence. You need the break. You deserve the break. I’m not talking every month, but maybe two big trips a year and a few long weekends.
I know it’s hard to wrap your brain around taking the time if it’s not something you’re already doing, but in the end, your brain will thank you for it.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.