Recharge by Unplugging – Trust Us, it Makes Sense
For professional athletes, recovery is just as important as the physical training. NBA champion and MVP LeBron James, claims to get 12 hours of shut-eye a night. Gold medal Olympian gymnast Simone Biles spent 50 hours in the gym per week leading up to the Rio Olympics. Her teammates tease her about her ability to nap pretty much anywhere. Resting a tired body is vital to performance and decreases burn out. While we all can’t be professional athletes, even though we tried our hardest in our driveway growing up, we can learn to reset and recharge our greatest weapon, our brains.
An article from the Harvard Business Review talks about the importance of totally recharging. The authors say that the more we push ourselves to work without giving our brains a true rest, the quicker we burn out. Resilience is what allows us to weather storms in our life, but resilience isn’t gained by relentless work. They say that “the key to resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again.” But most of us don’t value recovery. We push ourselves all the time, and we pride ourselves on being workaholics.
Research has found that there is a direct correlation between lack of recovery and increased incidence of health and safety problems. And lack of recovery—whether by disrupting sleep with thoughts of work or having continuous cognitive arousal by watching our phones—is costing employers $62 billion a year in lost productivity. (That’s billions, folks)
Recovery probably has a little different meaning for everyone, but it includes turning off all thoughts of work. Which is easier said than done, we know. It means giving your brain time to shut down and be quiet. It means allowing yourself long moments where you don’t do anything productive.
Here are some ways to help you reach a state of recovery:
Unplug. Dear iPhone, I love you but I need to not check you for no reason so frequently. Don’t use your phone alarm to wake up in the morning; it’s too tempting to get sucked into the vortex of checking your email first thing as you start your day.
Apps like Moment allow you to set daily limits and will notify you when you exceed them. You can even use a setting that “forces” you off your phone by flooding your screen with annoying alerts when you try to extend your screen time.
Do What you Love Hiking, running, creating art etc. The concept is simple; schedule time to allow yourself to express what is that you love doing that allows you to get in state of relaxation.
Laugh. Even the American Heart Association acknowledges that laughter is good medicine.. Find the humor in your situation when possible, watch a silly TV program or pop in a comedy movie. Find things to laugh about with your loved ones. Laughing quickens the pulse rate, stimulates the blood circulation, activates muscles, increases oxygen intake and helps you relax. If you’ve forgotten how to laugh, try this Bad Lip Reading of the Empire Strikes Back.
It’s okay to not be serious all the time.