Resilience is about how your recharge, not how you endure

March 25, 2019

 

I've been getting very frustrated with myself for taking an interminably long time to recover from a period of stress and overwork. Even the spring buds seem to trigger mild panic - I'm not ready, I need more hibernation, it's too much! 

 

It seems that recovery is a bit more complex than just deciding to stop being busy - it also requires that deceptively simple and yet elusive ability to let go of all the mental gymnastics and trust in the art of doing nothing. 

 

So here's a few ideas about how to spend time in recovery after a period of overwork. They worked for me so who knows, they might make sense to you too. I call them 'hammock time' because when they're all put together they have the equivalent effect of half an hour in a hammock on a sunny afternoon. Let me know how you get on.

 

 

 

Hammock time

 

 

 

- Mind wandering and foot wandering. It can be hard to stop your mind racing, but it changes pace when you walk - and if you can walk somewhere beautiful even better. Don't walk to achieve your 10,000 steps, or to get somewhere. Walk slowly, without purpose except to walk. Check in at particular points to see where your mind is taking you.

 

- Savour the moment. Try to remember to do this every day. Do something that stimulates your senses and notice the sensations. A bath, some chocolate, smelling spring blossom, warm sun on your face. Allow yourself to really enjoy these sensations regardless of anything else.

 

- Lean against a tree trunk on a windy day. If you've got cynical judgements about 'tree huggers' just get over it and try it for yourself. I guarantee you'll like it.

 

- Actively seek out sensations and experiences that make you smile. They are a priority for you right now, so don't pass them by.

 

If you want to know more, I read about the concept of resilience as recovery not endurance here: https://hbr.org/2016/06/resilience-is-about-how-you-recharge-not-how-you-endure It's very business orientated but the evidence is compelling. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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