RECOVERY: 4 Recovery approaches for the whole family

It’s one thing to perform your best once; it’s another to do it repeatedly. And this is exactly what life (and parenting) often requires. The key to rising and grinding again and again is recovery. The best part: It can be a family activity. Not only will you get the recovery you need, but you’ll set your kids up with essential life skills to manage their own recovery. Here’s how.

Fight fatigue.

Sluggish? You’re likely experiencing neural load, the load that influences your nervous system. A sprinter running at top speed or too much screen time (Zoom, anyone?), all lead to neural load. The result: a slow-moving sensation like walking through mud. Use these strategies to fight back: 

1. Breathwork. Intentionally shift your body from a sympathetic (aka fight-or-flight) state to a parasympathetic (aka rest-and-digest) state. Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat until you feel relaxed. It decreases neural and psychological load, and teaches kids about self-regulation.

2. Move it. Go for a family walk or bike ride. As you move through space and the world passes, you’ll experience optic flow. It helps your body shift toward a parasympathetic state, which also helps with psychological load just like breathwork does.

Ease soreness.

Lifting weights, jogging, or even sitting poorly at your desk lead to mechanical load, or the load you put on joints and tissues. Ease sore muscles with self-massage. Grab a HyperIce Vyper, Sphere mini, or Hypervolt and start massaging. So simple the whole family can use them!

Overcome feeling run down.

Whether you’re hiking hills or working out, your body needs energy. And this costs you in the form of metabolic load. Get your groove back by focusing on fueling. Giving your body the fuel it needs to replenish what you used during your activity will perk you up. Whip up a snack with a balance of carbs and protein like Greek yogurt with mixed berries or hard-boiled eggs with a banana.

Rest your emotions.

Feeling the psychological load of life, career, and everything else? Recoup from an emotionally taxing day with these tips.

1. Play!  Play a game of HORSE in the driveway or gather the family for the Adventure Challenge – Family Edition.

2. Find flow. This optimal state of mind comes when you’re fully immersed in a task, energized, and enjoying the process. In his Ted Talk, Adam Grant referred to flow as the antidote for languishing — that ‘meh’ feeling you get sometimes. And research tells us there are known flow triggers, such as clear goals, risk or challenge, rich environments like nature, moderate to higher intensity movement, and so much more. So take your family on a walk or a bike ride post-dinner, or get into a fun video game.

3. Mindfully meditate. Mindfulness meditation builds inner awareness, which is a prerequisite to emotional regulation. You need to know where you are emotionally before you can shift to where you want to be. Talk to one of our coaches about tools to start your own mindfulness practice.