In today’s world we are able to call upon the google machine to help us research any and everything. The answer to almost every question is out there. If well sourced, you can find all the information you crave. Well, almost every question has been answered. There is one that still evades us…..”What is Colin Farrell’s best movie?”.
Talking about recharging the batteries and self care are usually well intended but not regularly carried out. We need to “Walk the Talk” as Allistair McCaw says.
Self-care is in important topic for everyone. Mostly for those that reside in the USA. We live in a chronically over worked, over stressed and sleep deprived society. For the most part its work, work and more work.
Americans are notorious for not taking all their vacation days and better yet, working while on vacation. It’s like buying a Ferrari and driving it until the engine falls out. That’s basically the approach to work in the United States. The US government doesn’t mandate vacation time but it does say employees are entitled to sick days. Something Europeans just don’t understand and for good reason.
Companies in Europe make sure their employees get paid vacation in order to come back refreshed and recharged so they can contribute more to the overall productivity of the company. Just getting away from work for a prolonged period can have huge benefits. Of course some US companies give their employees paid vacation and reap the rewards of a rejuvenated workforce.
What does the leader of the free world do? It basically says “work until you die”. Unfortunately this is happening more and more. Take a look at who greets you at Wal-Mart or other similar stores. People who should have retired 10 years ago, that’s who.
“I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”
Really? Well I can guarantee you that if you keep up a work first, sleep whenever I have time priority list then you will be six feet under way before your time.
The term “balance” is tossed around a lot. I don’t subscribe to the balance idea. If you want to be great at your craft, whether its coaching, writing code or scooping ice-cream you need to immerse yourself in your craft. To become better you read, you learn, you apply. You’re never going to have a balance. It’s not how many hours you do per week, it’s what you put into those hours that counts. Balance is a myth if you want to be good at something. Making time for yourself is different, self-care falls into this category.
Self-care is YOUR responsibility.
In order to improve how you are around family and friends but also gain the most from your down time, self-care is an essential part of your week.
Habits Define Us
Have you heard the saying, “You are what you eat”, wait what?
More like, “we are what we do everyday”.
Our habits are what we do everyday, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In order to know what food helps restore depleted muscles, improve energy and decrease inflammation, we can simply look online. The difficult part becomes incorporating this into our daily or weekly habits.
In order to make a habit stick we must identify the habit loop. Read more from Charles Duhigg the author of “The Power of Habit”.
Here are some things to incorporate into your routine to help you recharge on your time off.
Establish set times to go to bed and wake up. No screen time at least an hour before bed to allow your brain to switch off. About three years ago I wasn’t sleeping well so i started tracking my sleep with the “Sleep Cycle” app. I use an old iPhone to do it to this day and it helps me track my average sleep and whether or not it was deep or not. You will know if you slept well but this helps you keep a record if there’s a pattern.
This is a deeply layered topic. Until I get my Precision Nutrition certification I will just give general nutrition advice such as:
- Less processed foods (these increase inflammation)
- Increase naturally grown foods/vegetables (these fight inflammation)
- Watch your daily sugar intake.
- Track how much sugar you eat daily over the course of a week. Get the average.
- The US average daily intake is 76.7 grams per day.
- The RDA for women is 25 grams, 37.5 for men.
- Drink Water
- Ditch the soda’s and other artificially sweetened beverages. Liquid calories are lethal!
If you want to get better everyday you get up and attack the day. You don’t want to waste time. If you’re picking up a pay check then your days seem long, your weeks longer. Approach your craft with a different mindset and good things will happen.
Be the best version of you. Smile and greet people accordingly. There will always be challenging situations and people, it is your job to come out smiling on the other side.
You don’t have to be Bear Grylls in order to reap the benefits of Mother Nature. The Marshawn Lynch episode is great though!
Improved immunity, less chance of depression, improved sense of happiness as well as improved levels of creativity are just a few reasons to get out in the green.
This doesn’t have to be work related. Simply exposing your brain to something you enjoy reading helps your creative juices start flowing. Whether its “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling or “Supertraining” by Yuri Verkhosansky, open up something you WANT to read.
F) The Sustainability Question
Are you in a routine that is sustainable? I always ask new clients are they engaged in an exercise routine that is sustainable? When you are 65 will you be able to run 10 miles three days a week, probably not. If you learn how to deadlift, squat and execute a proper push up then you have a skill set that you can use forever.
Sports such as endurance running, olympic lifting and powerlifting take such a high toll on the body. This makes them tough to be sustainable over the course of a lifetime. It’s not impossible, it’s just tough to feel good when your body is always in pain.
The same goes for a work schedule that takes up 90% of your week/energy. Is that sustainable? Are you sick a lot? Yea, you probably are. Not a coincidence.
Use your next day off to sleep in, get out in nature and read a book.