Cap it! (from Mostly Dead to Fairly Functional, part II)

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Hello again,

Welcome back to "Mostly Dead to Fairly Functional" series!

Yesterday we talked about allowing yourself a still and quiet time after The Big Crunch. We've established that an adrenaline-packed vacation doesn’t count as recovery. (If you missed part I in the series, you can catch it here).

What does count? Which tools should inhabit your “recovery toolbox”? 

Here are the first two, more to follow.

1. Recognition, awareness, and  letting go of guilt.

We kind of talked about it last time, but it’s so important, I want to reiterate, and give this another angle. 

Before everything else - recognize there will be a downtime. 
Make peace with the fact that you won’t get immediately back in the saddle, galloping towards the sunset with the same speed as before. You’ll get there eventually, and the sooner you let go of your guilt, the quicker you’ll recover.

In my twenties we used to say “guilt is fattening”.  Meaning, if you inhaled a pint of ice cream, it’s actually a bad idea to obsess over it. Guilty => feeling bad => more ice cream to drown the guilt.

Same is true for “inactivity guilt”. You feel guilty about not charging ahead full force, you feel useless, and ashamed, and that’s hardly motivating. Doing stuff seems even more out of reach, because you’re useless, so you don’t get up and do stuff. You feel even more guilty. Circle closed.

We don’t want that.

2. Cap it in time!

Recognizing that you *need* a significant period of downtime after a crunch is half the battle. Another effective tactic to let go of “inactivity guilt” and of this nagging  “I should be working, but I’m powerless” feeling, is to set concrete boundaries around your resting time. 
Try this: “For the next week I’ll be completely, utterly, deliberately useless. I’m resting, I’m letting my brain, my body, and my emotions to recover and get back to “balanced”.

Now you claim (perhaps out loud) the fatigue won't last into the nebulous forever. After the deliberately useless week is up, you'll be doing stuff again. 
It's liberating.