What Does Recovery Look Like for You?
April showers bring May flowers so they say and I have felt the deluge of all I need to complete work-wise coming down on me. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things I have on my plate and I'll be honest...sometimes I want to just hide under a blanket on our couch. And not to say that its bad or unhealthy to chill out on the couch; I just know that it is a place I go when I have pushed myself too far.
I disengage from life completely because I have pushed too hard to maintain my best self. So the thing that helps me avoid engaging in that potentially dangerous coping mechanism is the concept of rest, recovery, and self care.
If you have been following me on social media, you will notice that I have been engaging in the instruction and personal recreation of a lot of ice baths and sauna sessions. And what we know about contrast therapy is that it can be a powerful conduit to initiate some processes within recovery. It has been shown to reduce the effects of DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) and it causes a reaction in your system that essentially heightens the cleanup of the mitochondria in your cells that need to be attended to (there is a fancy word called autophagy that describes this).
But engaging in recovery doesn't always mean that you are putting yourself through an XPT style ice and heat session. Recovery technically means "A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength"; so it is essentially a return back to yourself at a base level. This doesn’t mean we escape stress altogether, it merely means we experience a stimulus and then we return to a calm, relaxed, restored state.
The problem with that definition is that you may not know what your normal state is...You have been running ragged for so long, the idea of slowing down and actually getting in touch with what is going on with your body seems quite daunting. I know it has taken me awhile to actually slow down and give myself the intentional rest I need (not just a couch crashing session).
So before jumping into an ice bath, I would urge you to understand what a normal state of health looks like for you. I wand you to consider what are some recovery tools you want to implement for yourself on a regular basis so that you can turn back to your true self and connect with what it means to be healthy. It's okay if you want to come to an ice bath before you get this figured out though... ;).
A good place to start would be to consider what you are willing to do for yourself. Are you willing to stay hydrated (this doesn't just mean drinking more water)? Are you willing give yourself more hours of sleep per night? What about engaging in some education to learn how to breathe better? These are all ways you can begin the process toward feeling that state of recovery, and there are plenty more examples where that came from!
Recovery is not a one time thing, it's a habit and it begins with your ability to choose what you need. Recovery is necessary for your system, your body needs it, and you probably aren’t getting enough of it.
Reach out if you need support, I'm here for you.