Active Recovery

I like listening to the wisdom of athletic people. I recently heard someone talk about how, during a workout, you want times of “active recovery.” Some people think of recovery as stopping all movement–of giving up and shutting down–but really, to stay healthy, you want active recovery if you’re letting your body recover from anything.

I immediately think of the journey of those around me who handle so many difficult things whether a cancer diagnosis or the death of a loved one. I think of those enduring another day of depression or those receiving disappointing news.

I think of the parallels to both physical and emotional health. I think of the wisdom to keep moving, to push yourself a little here and there, and to stay in active recovery. It’s less of a push and strain of a full kind of living, but it’s still movement. It’s still growth. It’s still pushing forward.

It means getting out of bed to face the day. I remember a student coming to class in pajamas after a terrible night. At least she made it. At least she showed up. Active recovery. It’s doing a little exercise, even around the block. It’s writing a few sentences after a rejection or going out on a date after a break-up. It’s moving forward. You’re not 100% you, but you’re also not at 0%. You haven’t given up because that’s not you.

In active recovery, you get out of the house. You take yourself to a movie. Or you might stay in and bake a treat for a neighbor. You do something. You keep moving forward.

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