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moving you forward by increasing recovery
moving you forward by increasing recovery
The Science of Chillaxing – Why Recovery is Critical to Peak Performance & Avoiding Burnout
Posted by Dr Sean Richardson, June 3, 2020
I love this Ad pic from ESPN – it's quite a few years back now...

Perhaps you know someone like the guy melting into the couch in this photo…

Perhaps they drive you a bit crazy because they spend hours doing nothing but sitting there, occasionally grunting and groaning, sometimes shouting at the bright screen in front of them… and if lucky, cheering every once in a while with ridiculous excitement, seeming like they have just won $500mil at the lotto…

First word that comes to mind when looking at this pic?


(Although a few millenials have corrected me... it’s not lazy… it is called “chillaxing” and it is a good thing)

Well – many of us still look down on people taking it easy… and perhaps rightfully so because of the mounting numbers of people who are spending way too much time doing not much.

HOWEVER... we may criticize people for being too lazy, BUT we have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater (or the flatscreen out with the recycling??).

Taking it easy at the right time is absolutely critical to high performance. Getting your mindset right around things like time off, recovery, and having fun is essential if you are going pursue excellence in any area of life.

Problem is… we are not actually getting this right a lot of the time.

I spent 4 years of my life writing a PhD about elite athletes who messed up their recovery, believed that the only way to the top or to stay on top was to work harder, at all costs. Some of them had been #1 in the world in their sports, but weren't any more because they got this "chillaxing" recovery thing wrong.

I wrote a book about this research – Overtraining Athletes – and I can tell you that too many high performers push past the limits of their bodies and suffer for it. Sport science tells us that recovery is just as important as the hard work you put in – without it your mind and body won’t be ready to take advantage of all that hard work and perform at a peak.

Question is...

Where in your life are you hitting the “more is better” button one too many times?

Feeling guilty about a bit of time out for yourself?

Feeling weak because you are not working harder, despite feeling burnt out?

Putting in 12 and 14 hour days because that is the norm, and still demanding of yourself to be at peak performance?

Having trouble admitting to others, and maybe even yourself, that you are struggling, and that a bit of recovery time (and possibly some help from others) might be the remedy?

In my world – I say Weak is Tough – it is tough to admit to weakness, fatigue, vulnerability and then do something about it, especially tough to ask for help... but you have to do the tough things if you want to achieve excellence.

If you need to chillax a bit to make sure you can recharge your energy stores in order to be productive at work, at home or elsewhere in your life... then be courageous, admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed and tired.

Don’t see recovery as a guilty pleasure... see it as a responsibility to your body and your mind – as long as you get back in action once you are feeling good again!

Love to hear your thoughts.

Dr Sean R

Dr Sean R

Sean helps executive parents transform stress, burnout and underperformance to energy, high performance and freedom at work and at home. As a PhD in performance psychology and energy health, Sean is an expert at helping people identify where and why they are stuck in a fatigue, performance or mental health rut, and how to get out of it to reach new levels of excellence.
If you're interested in having a personal and professional breakthrough in energy and performance then reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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