I am gearing up for the start of another academic year. Generally, this is an exciting time and it still is, but it is also full of anticipation and anxiety. As we prepare to return to live instruction, I am excited to welcome our students back. We’ve moved furniture, I have my masks ready, I’m getting into the habit of submitting the daily symptom tracker and I’m on edge waiting for it all to shift and change. I remind myself of what I have control over, and that is my wellness observation, preparation, and burn event recovery.
One of the most important pieces to integrating your career into your life is to not have your career be your only passion in life. You should enjoy your work, but it should not be the only enjoyment you have in your day. Having a hobby, relationship, activity, ritual, or practice that can take priority of your time is important to give you a break from the work activities that take a bulk of your daily energy.
My outside passions and recovery practices have always included a few things that are important formula for me to find peace and truly slow down. I am going to break them down into daily, weekly, and occasional recovery practices. These are my formulas; I encourage you to reflect on what your formulas look like for each.
Introverting + Music + No Interruptions = Recovery
For daily recovery I need to have some time alone, music, and no phone notifications. At times this may also include a physical activity of some kind but not always. I find these recovery moments in the shower, during my drive to and from work, or during a workout. I need the introverted time because as a highly empathetic person I need time to recovery and sort my own feelings out from the emotions that I have taken on from others throughout the day.
Fitness + People + No Interruptions = Recovery or People + Cocktail + Laughs = Recovery
There are two things that I need at least on a weekly basis to hit my wellness stride, even better when I can achieve this more than once a week. I do need other humans for recovery, I gain energy from being around positive beings, in laughing with others, by learning from others, and laughing at myself. Throughout the years group fitness has shown up in a number of different ways, from dance class, to Pure Barre, to aerial yoga, to most recently paddleboard yoga. My second formula recently has been a happy hour group over zoom. See post, Twice a Week and Sometimes on Sunday for more on this practice. Pre-Covid it was going out with friends or my partner. Laughter is probably the most important part of this formula and you need fun humans to achieve that. I am fortunate to have so many kind, funny, honest humans in my life.
Water + Sun + Nature = Recovery
This formula can be hard to achieve every day or every week for me. But I try to fit this in whenever I can. When I lived in Savannah one of my favorite recovery practices was to pack up my car with all my beach necessities and head out and set up my spot at Tybee by 9 am. I would have the beach to myself for at least an hour and by 3 pm when the crowds really started forming, I was ready to head home to shower and make dinner. These days offered a complete reset for me. Now I reach this formula by going to paddleboard in the river or lake. Or planning a trip where I can spend time on a beach or by a pool. With the pandemic, my backyard hammock serves as a substitute when I am not able to get to an actual waterfront. I always attempt to read while rocking back in forth but instead end up taking a nap, feeling more at peace when I wake up.
As you consider your own formulas keep a few things in mind. The end result should be a feeling of relaxation or rejuvenation. It should include things that bring you joy or comfort. And finally, it should be unique to you and your needs. If you do not find cooking or baking to be relaxing and instead bring you stress it should not be a part of your recovery formula.
Not sure where to start in developing your outside work passion or recovery formula? I’m here to help. I offer individual coaching to help you find your best wellness practice and burn event recovery plan. Find out more here!