Why is it that we never hear any advice on decompression? We talk about how to act, how to juggle, how to balance, how to beat procrastination, how to sell, how to fight, how to never give up, how to fail and how to lose.
We do we never talk about the space between action?
The assumption seems to be that if there is ever a space between actions, it’s a flaw, a fault. We parrot “taking time for ourselves” and “spending time with loved ones” but there’s always the strong flavour of doing to these things, as if they were just one more item on our todo lists.
I believe that change is often as good as a rest, but not always.
For me, a sure fire sign that I need to decompress is the nagging sense that I’ll lose track of things if I’m don’t keep everything moving at once. This is a sign that my short-term memory is starting to flag, which is another symptom of stress sickness.
The best decompression resource I found came (unsurprisingly) from Leo Babuta of Zen Habits. He was the only one with the focus I was looking for– of checking out and stepping away from stress and stress-patterns, and not just seeking to manage it better.
- Deep Breathing
- Talk a walk
- Get outdoors
- Take the day off
- Take a nap
I find it pretty comprehensive, with the possible addition of playing a game.
So, looking at that list, tell me honestly: What have you done lately, and don’t you think you should?
This is the only way to handle high-level stress and eustress. If you want to be epic, extraordinary, awesome, (insert your adjective of choice) you also must be mindful that after every epic hurdle is leapt, you take the time to decompress from the battle-fever.
Thanks to Q for the inspiration for this post.