69% of individuals working from home have reported experiencing symptoms of burnout over the last year. It’s not difficult to understand why when you consider that for many of us home has become the place we exercise, we communicate, and we work. It’s our salon, our favorite restaurant, and also supposed to be a place you can relax, unwind and get quality rest. That is far too many activities to assign to one space, especially without careful planning.
When we try to assign that many different activities to one space without experiencing change of scenery, it can lead to blurred boundaries, difficulty compartmentalizing and never really feeling relaxed. You may have noticed that over the last year, even when you don’t perceive yourself to be exerting much effort, you are still feeling more stressed and on edge than before. You may have already thought about incorporating self care or finding a way to fix this, but if you have limited square footage you may be wondering how to best set up a space that is conducive to recovery.
Our top recommendations for building an at-home recovery space.
Establish a work free zone:
The first thing we recommend is setting up a space that is free of work or other distractions. If you are already on the verge of burnout or new to recovery, you may notice a bit of an aversion to the initial process of slowing down and quieting your mind. If you notice your brain is finding reasons to focus on the fact that the dishes need to be done or maybe you should check your email, know that this is normal and do your best to work through it. Our best suggestion is pick a space that does not remind you of those other “to-dos” on your list. If you are worried about forgetting something, make a list before you take a recovery break so you know you can come back to it after you have had an opportunity to decompress and relieve tension in your body.
Find a space that can be a clean slate for you that you don’t associate with any other demands in your life, even if it means a little bit of feng shui. We recommend a spot that has access to natural light that does not accumulate clutter and is easy to keep clean.
Try to limit or ban screens that remind you of your work or school. Keep computers away, and only bring your phone if you have a guided routine or meditation that you find helpful.
Build a foundation that inspires you:
Part of why we made our Swift Recovery Mat was so our customers would have access to a versatile foundation for their workouts and their recovery. When you’re short on space, or need to set a mood that is conducive to switching gears from your other activities, we recommend having a high quality mat to set the stage. Keep it rolled up in the area you have set aside as your recovery space, or laid out and good to go as a reminder for self care. Think of the mat as a sacred area where stress or challenges outside of your health and fitness goals are not allowed to enter.
Clutter can be distracting and can just feel like another thing on your list that you need to take care of. Keep your recovery tools organized by using a small shelf, a storage cube, wall mounting or a dedicated area that you are committed to keeping organized. Sidekick cases (particularly our Capsule collection) are perfect for easily stowing your scraping and vibration tools and will make your space more inviting and motivating. Set up your space where you can have access to natural light, an option to open a window, or set it up so there is a diffuser with a scent that is relaxing and pleasant.
Add a little bit of character to the room or space you’re using as your recovery area. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive but don’t be afraid to add plants, motivational quotes or great lighting to your space. Try adjustable hue bulbs particularly if you use a space for working out and recovery. These bulbs can range from 2700-5000 watts which is closer to the pure white light provided by the sunlight, and you can adjust them based on the time of day and activity you are performing. With many of us spending most of our time inside, great lighting is a must to help boost motivation and energy.
Lastly, when you are done with your recovery session, always reset the space by cleaning off your mat and tools and setting things up for yourself so you are ready for your next session without any prep.
Establish a routine
Think about the flow of your day currently. Are you someone who gets up in the morning and gets right to work? When do you have the most free time throughout your day?
If you are someone who struggles to get to a workout or other important self care rituals in if you don’t make the time before work, we recommend incorporating recovery into your mornings. Set out comfortable clothes and everything you may need the night before so you can get dressed and get to it. Commit to it in your mind ahead of time and keep yourself accountable.
If your schedule can be unpredictable, we recommend the same level of preparedness but instead of a morning commitment, set a block of time in your schedule and honor it like you would any other meeting. It also will help set the mental precedent that this is something that you can’t miss.
If you are the type of person who likes to get that post work energy boost or someone who likes to have a routine to help them wind down at night, then set a reminder for yourself and experiment with different times of the evening to see what helps improve your day most. There is no wrong answer, the most important thing is that you find the time.
Find a way to relax that you look forward to
Only the most disciplined people can stick to a routine they don’t enjoy, and even then the results are usually worse and it is unlikely to be a lifelong commitment. Recovery is just as if not more important than your workout routine so it’s important that you find a way to do it that you enjoy. There is no one ‘right’ way to do it, so don’t feel bad if you tried meditation and it wasn’t for you. Look into breathwork, different types of yoga, tai chi, qi gong, stretching, scraping, rolling, and vibration tools. We recommend trying a variety of these and measuring how you feel after your sessions.
A variety of the above modalities may work for you, and that is completely okay. Think of your workout routine, and how you may rotate movements or muscle groups based on the day of the week. Your recovery routine can mirror that style, especially if that encourages you to stick to it. Don’t be afraid to personalize it to your needs. If you set a goal for 30 minutes of recovery daily but then the reality is daunting, break it up into smaller sessions throughout your day, or reduce your recovery time until you find a balance that is achievable. One of the many reasons we love our scraping tools, is because you can enjoy the benefits of scraping a specific muscle group in under 5 minutes! Find what works for your schedule, and avoid dreading something you don’t enjoy. Remember, just because one method of recovery works for your partner, coworker or friend that does not mean that is the only way to do it, everyone is different.
Make recovery non-negotiable in your mind
When you are incorporating something new into your routine, it can be easy to prioritize other activities. It can also be easy to build up a list of conditions that makes your recovery seem so far away that you can’t get started. Make sure you don’t add it to a long list of to dos, or place insurmountable conditions on your self-care. An example of this is if you have to clean your house before you can workout, and you don’t want to recover before your workout session. If that particular day or week you are dreading both of those activities, then recovery is just out the window. Make it separate from other tasks and commit to it. You may find taking 5-10 minutes for yourself enables you to accomplish the other tasks on your list whether it is work or movement related.
Let us know how you have set up your recovery space. Let us know your favorite way to recover from home?