Like the incredible Ms. Simone Biles, I am a huge believer in recovery days for both adults and kids.
I’ve always been a fan of mental health days and self-care. Heck, even since high school I’ve been known to take a sick day now and then in order to stay home, wear PJs, relax and pamper myself into feeling better mentally or physically.
But it wasn’t until the 2020 pandemic that I realized just how important these “recovery” days can be. During the hot mess express that was last year, I think we all needed recovery days more than ever before – and hopefully, most of us learned the value of taking them whenever possible.
I first heard the term recovery days in a strenuous workout environment. After training hard for a couple of days, the idea is to take a recovery day to stretch and go a little easier on your body so your muscles can recover and be ready for the next beating.
Well, I may not work out with a personal trainer anymore, but life can still give us beatings. Sometimes they’re physical – like extra aches and pains, interrupted sleep or a scary diagnosis.
Other times, the beatings are emotional or mental – like feeling unappreciated at work or home, not having enough time to follow our dreams or creative pursuits, or getting bad news.
Whatever is troubling or bothering you, recovery days can usually help. I’m such a believer in giving ourself the space we need to feel things, think through things or just veg and relax so our minds and bodies can recover and keep going.
Parents, especially, should be giving themselves recovery days. The job of parenting is no joke! I’ve always found the occasional recovery day to be absolutely instrumental to keeping my sanity as a parent. When Xage was very small and still in daycare, once in a while I would take a half day from work and leave the kiddo in school so I could focus on recharging my personal batteries.
When X was in grade school, once in a while E and I would take a day off from work to spend time together, alone at home, for a couple’s recovery day. Heck, once we even took a whole week of vacation time together at home, unbeknownst to the child – but alas, karma got us because we both got a terrible flu and spent the entire week feeling miserable on the couch together. Still, good bonding time, I guess?!
It’s been a long time since E and I have made time for a recovery day together. We’re overdue. Sometimes date nights just aren’t enough and you need more time to truly connect and relax together. Recovery days with the one you love are the best! X and I have taken plenty of recovery days together, especially in the last year or so.
Recovery days on your own are pretty great, too. Mine usually involve wearing comfy clothes, taking a walk with friends at sunrise, journaling, meditating with crystals or doing some Buddhist chanting, lunch from my favorite take-out spot, a walk with the dogs, reading a favorite book or watching a new movie or show on my own. Sometimes I’ll even splurge and shop a little, get a facial or mani/pedi, or take myself out to the movies. I absolutely love going to the movies alone and I rarely get the chance to do it.
Use your recovery day to do whatever gives you pleasure, brings you peace and eases the stress in your body, mind or soul. But the key is to spend the day, or at least part of it, alone for reflection and introspection.
Do you make regular recovery days part of your self-care routine? I realize not everyone has the luxury of being able to take days off for themselves. But honestly, sometimes people can and just don’t even think do it. I hope this post will help you explore whether this might be a possibility for you once in a while, or even just once a year.
I wish you many happy recovery days and a life that is peaceful and happy with few things to recover from! I’d love to hear your thoughts on recovery days in the comments below or over on Facebook.