This is an often neglected but critically important concept for maximizing your experience in life. I didn’t fully understand why until I was older…
It’s easy to grasp why this important when healing from an injury – the body is rebuilding itself after sustaining a physical trauma. But as I have aged I realize that we need to recover from mental stress as well. This takes time though, and if you don’t understand why you need it, it can seem like wasted time.
For example, working as an ER nurse is obviously stressful. It happens to be a kind of stress I like, but it still takes a toll. So in order to keep from burning out, I need time to recover. Everyone is somewhat different in their needs, but in my case after two or three days of consecutive 12 and a half hour shifts, I need to catch up on my sleep and think about something completely different. Dealing with the consequences of taking an active part in life and death decisions and the aftermath of losing those you are trying to save can be haunting. Nobody is perfect, and in order to become highly skilled there is an inevitable learning curve. No one wants to admit it, but we all make mistakes. The question is: How do you handle it?
Here’s how: By being kind to yourself, understanding that this is how life works, and giving yourself time to recover so you can fight another day.