We all go through highs and lows in life, and it’s the low times that’s often intense and emotionally draining.
How we deal with periods of intensity, before, during and after, has a major impact on all aspects of our lives.
What Classifies as an Intense Time?
An intense time may include:
- A career change.
- A relocation.
- A major project that we’re working on.
- Meeting deadlines or expectations.
- End of a relationship.
- A major illness.
- Loss of a loved one.
The reality is life will go on and we’ll have new priorities to focus on. The better we’re able to recover, refresh and refocus on what needs to be done next, the easier it’ll be on us mentally, emotionally and physically.
I had a recent experience where I did not give myself time to fully recharge after an intense period. During the launch of my book, Ignite Your Leadership, there was a period where I worked for over sixty days in a row, without having a day off.
As part of the promoting, my colleagues and I were also conducting a virtual leadership summit, so I had the responsibility of ensuring everything was ready and completed on time. While I enjoyed the experience of being part of an online summit and launching another book, it did require a lot of planning, focus and intensity.
During that period, I also exercised every day, which meant that my body was not getting enough rest to recover.
A smarter strategy would have been for me to pace myself better leading up to the launch, and also give myself enough time off so that I would remain fresh, and maintain my energy levels.
By the time the summit and the book launch was over, I totally crashed in terms of my energy and motivation. A couple of months later, as I had not fully recovered and recharged, I ended up getting sick and was forced to rest for over a week.
The key lesson for me was to prepare myself mentally and emotionally before a known period of intensity, then pace myself while going through it.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of knowing when we’ll have an intense period in our lives. Sometimes things happen without warning and suddenly we’re experiencing things we weren’t prepared for.
For the purpose of this article, the focus is on what we can do after we’ve gone through an intense period so that we can reduce any unexpected consequences for having gone through such a period.
5 Actions That Will Help You Recharge
- Focus on self care. This may be obvious but so many high achievers fall into the trap of going onto the next thing on their plate, without allowing themselves to acknowledge what they went through. Self care may include taking time off, having some fun, and not focusing on what needs to be done next. We all need to give ourselves some mental downtime.
- Reflect on the experience you just had. As we can learn from every experience, during our time off we can ask ourselves self-reflecting questions such as, “What did I learn from this?” or “What worked well and didn’t work well, and what can I do better next time I’m in a similar situation?”
- Reconnect with what matters most to you. Oftentimes, intense experiences gives us new awareness and better perspective on what’s important to us. These insights can then inform us on what our next focus should be.
- Know what your limits are. As much as we like to think of ourselves as being able to do anything we want, the truth is we can do what we want but we cannot do everything we want ourselves without some form of mental, emotional and physical risk. We have to know what our limitations are and how much we can push ourselves without burning out. Our focus should be on having better overall health.
- Create a smooth transition back into things. It’s not advisable, after we’ve recovered from an intense period, to get back into something with as much intensity as we just had. It’s more sensible to ease back into things by deciding on what the best thing is for us to do next. We don’t want to create an unhealthy habit of having extremely high intensity, crashing, then going back to high intensity again.
After an intense time in our lives, if we do not learn from the experience, chances are we’ll repeat the same habits and behaviours next time we experience something similar. It’s our responsibility to use those experiences and continuously improve. If we don’t, we could be setting ourselves up for additional discomfort or pain as we may take longer to recover from those experiences.
Question: What is something else we can do to fully recharge after an intense time in our lives?
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