Quick Video (Played with iMovie on this one)
I don't love the word balance in a performance world. Does it lead to more happiness for most people...probably. The thing I have found, if we are being honest, is that high performance isn't balanced. I'm sorry its just not...and frankly its not even necessarily a happy option. Yup, I am really saying that. High performance is a drive that involves sacrifice, doing things that are uncomfortable, not fun, discipline and being honest with yourself about your next way to improve. All those things often lead to imbalance.
Yet here I am wanting to talk to you about recovery and I'll tell you why. If you want to push as hard as you need to to perform you need to recover deliberately. We get so good at pressing that gas peddle, and probably knowing that's what sets us apart, that we forget the brake peddle has a purpose. IT HAS A PURPOSE I swear.
To me its like overworking your quad muscles and never training the hamstrings...eventually it leads to imbalance and injury. So then how do we train it. Well I do think we recovery in different ways but something that has worked well for me is some simple breath work. I like apps like Headspace that expose me to new ideas about mindfulness and guide me through an exercise (especially if I'm already stressed) but a walk in the woods with a promise not to use my phone will do it to.
Signs I need to work on my breaks:
- - I can't sit at a stop light without checking my phone
- - Being alone makes me itchy
- - I look for chores, activities to fill my day
- - I won't go somewhere alone
- - I can't do savasana at the end of a yoga session without wanting to crawl out of my skin.
- I will also tell you that when I need to work on my breaks the most is when I really don't want to do it. I don't think I have time. The thing is, when I start setting aside 2-20 minutes for just my breath my ideas get better, my motivation rises, and my work gets a lot better. So recover hard so you can work hard! Check out the quick video attached to go through a two minute exercise (and I am sorry for the sound of my dog drinking water and running around).