A previous post on recovery cycles encouraged starting small. It is vitally important to have ways of regenerating energy, but the method need not be a big deal. The important thing is doing something.
A second quality of an effective recovery cycle is variety. People are complicated. They have many facets. Even the most varied worklife draws upon a limited range of a person’s capabilities. Some dimensions of a person’s life will be neglected while other dimensions develop to an extraordinary degree. Some jobs are all about focused thinking, rarely calling for compassion. Some jobs are all about connecting with people, leaving little time for reflection. In a limited context, a lop-sided approach makes sense. A job role encompasses only a limited slice of human potential. It also makes sense that people develop a special ability to do those core job roles well.
However, you really ought to be more than your job.
The practical side of this idea is that the most effective recovery activities will differ from work. And the more actively different they are, the more effective they will be.
That means that doing nothing is usually not very effective at recovering energy.
• For people with jobs that involve a lot of sitting or standing around, vigorous activity is more restful than being passive.
• Number crunchers benefit from chatting with people.
• Intensive networkers benefit from solitary walks.
Tying up your focus on a one dimension of your being allows other dimensions to rest.
So, if a job involves typing on a computer all day, playing computer games gives a minimal release.
A change isn’t simply as good as a rest. It is an essential part of a rest.
It’s time to try something completely different.
What works for you?