How to Recharge Yourself: Prepping for Maximum Output
It’s OKAY to Relax…
When I say it’s okay to relax, I don’t mean to spend your time eating chocolate and binging on Netflix.
Firstly, that’s not what relaxing is, and secondly, I’m taking it as read you’re someone who actively wants to and strives to get shit done.
A common theme that comes up in my coaching practice is that guys have big goals and try the damn hardest to pack them into a week.
That sounds good on the surface but when you try to live it out you end up fatigued, and worse still, demotivated that you’re not crushing it like your inner Jocko Willink demands you should.
*As an aside, no hate on Jocko, I think he’s amazing, what I’m getting at is the perfectionistic standard you set up within that ends up crushing you with guilt and dejection for not hitting it
Relaxation? What’s That?
When I say to guys ‘Do you have any space in your week for relaxation?’ they usually say they do, but when I ask what it is they do to relax they answer with activities, not relaxation.
Activities can be one of two natures:
- Slothful: his is the aforementioned binging on food/Netflix/porn/[add in your poison] that masquerades as relaxation, but in reality does little to nourish and re-energise you as relaxation should
- Personal development related: Yet more goals, such as learn an instrument, learn a language or smash it in the gym
Now while slothful activities are the result of an addicted and conditioned mind that’s easy for market men to draw endless cash out of by keeping you docile, personal development related activities are good pursuits, yet your ego is actually super-imposing your perfectionistic standard onto your downtime.
Personal development related activities are things that form part of your life goals, not relaxation.
Hence, on a relaxation day, you’re not aiming to smash it in the gym, but recoup and refresh mentally and physically so you can smash it in the gym later in the week.
Learning to Recharge
Being mindful of the above is very important, as it acts as a justification to a busy and demanding mind that can only see relaxation as a missed opportunity and laziness.
If you have a clear rational that relaxation enhances your capabilities and potential as opposed to diminishing such faculties, you can finally allow yourself to relax.
As I’ve been implying thus far, relaxation is in essence a break for your body, yet more importantly, it’s a break for your mind.
Did you know that stopping someone from sleeping is a form of torture?
It’s immensely brutal because it drives you insane in two ways – it’s excruciating as your body needs rest, yet that’s compounded by the mind which needs to dream to organise the subconscious and process the experience of reality.
Hence, without sleep, you will literally go insane and become psychotic in a matter of days as you begin to dream in the waking state.
Now, this is an extreme example I know, but what many guys do to themselves is the equivalent of this but over years of working and striving without ever having time to stop and get away from it all.
How to Relax
In essence, true relaxation is having a rest from the usual inner and outer demands, stresses and challenges of life without running away into the excess of Netflix, booze and whatever else.
It is letting all that is be, but taking some time away to sink deep into yourself, meaning some powerful relaxation practices are:
- Turning your phone off and walking in nature
- Swimming (not smashing it, just enjoying the water and the natural beauty of it)
- Talking to an old friend
- Guided body scan mediations
- Listen to or play music (don’t strive to learn to play here, that is a goal)
- Writing out fears and solutions before burning the list
- Meditation/Silent Prayer (see below)
A lot of what I’m writing about here comes from personal experience, and in closing, I just want to mention that every day I’ve been sitting on a park bench looking at a tree for half an hour.
It may sound like I’ve gone full hippy, but the stillness of the tree and the leaves blowing in the wind is truly mesmeric.
Usually when I begin the mind talks a great deal about how this is ‘stupid’, yet in time it settles and an inner harmony comes in.
It’s a private, peaceful and practical way of enhancing peace at the end of the day; give it a go if you can.
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