Respect your rest days.
If taking time to do nothing is difficult for you,
like it is for me, keep reading.
I’m the the type of person who always feels like I need to be doing something. It’s been really mentally tough taking 2 full rest weeks after a jammed packed competition season and moving twice. I often find myself just coming up with tasks of things to do so I can feel productive. I am learning to be intentional about my rest and know that by doing nothing, I am recovering my body and mind from a stressful time. This is to allow me to be able to push it to it’s limits again.
The cycle goes on and on. It’s an analogy for improving at anything in life. Push yourself to the edge of your capacity, rest, recover, rebuild, then do it again in hopes that this time you can push a bit further than the last time.
I am starting to schedule my “rest” activities (reading, journaling, stretching, walking) into my normal day like appointments. I can still feel like I am being productive by having something to check off my list, but also giving myself the space and recovery my body needs.
This doesn’t just apply to coming off of a big competition season as an athlete, because your body doesn’t differentiate stress. When you ever go through a really tough and stressful time (regardless the stimulus), be patient with yourself and be ok will stillness.