Does “recovery time” sound like a luxury? Resting, relaxing, taking care of yourself – it all sounds a bit dreamlike, doesn’t it?
Except it is not.
As a doctor, I can tell you that recovering means you have something you need to recover from and that means you’re suffering. Healing often hurts, fatigue isn’t always solved by sleep, and the trajectory of getting better is usually not a gently upward curve.
As a patient this week – nothing major, I had a cataract removed from my right eye – I can tell you that recovery time is truly disappointing. It’s uncomfortable, it’s boring and, weirdly, it’s tiring in ways that don’t make much sense.
And all this is why we NEED recovery time. We don’t only need to schedule recovery time after illness or injury, we need recovery time after any big change. Consider scheduling recovery time for:
- Your team after a big project is due
- Your family after a big vacation (even come back a bit sooner than you have to)
- Anyone after a move, a deployment, a college dropoff, a new start or a big ending
- Whatever feels impactful for you
You don’t have to close your office or cancel everything on your calendar to have recovery time. You can schedule in breaks, block time, plan something supportive or low key and fun.
And employers: please don’t confuse recovery time with vacation time. It’s not to get you better than you were before, it’s to get you better and towards how well you felt before this big change with all its cortisol and brain chemistry impacts.
What change do you have coming up in the next 6 months that would benefit from some planned recovery time? Comment and tell me!
All my best,