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When Restorative Practices Need Restoring

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Restorative practices are those habitual activities we intentionally engage in for the purpose of recharging our energy. Not unlike rechargeable batteries, our performance requires our bodies, minds, hearts and souls to have an opportunity to rest and recharge; otherwise our resilience will be weak and we’ll get “tapped out” sooner than we’d like. And not only is our resilience dependent on restoration – our health and wellbeing are as well.

But what happens when the restorative processes we’ve come to rely on stop working, or are no longer available due to the distancing and quarantining requirements of Covid-19? Whether your favorite processes have been displaced, or you’re realizing you’re lacking in restorative engagement for other reasons, now is a good time to identify with this need and start intentional restorative practices!

Aside from the foundational needs for hydration, healthy nutrition and restful sleep, other restorative practices such as exercise, prayer and meditation, spending time in nature, and creative outlets such as art, crafts and music play important roles in many people’s lives. As leaders and high performing team members, stressful and trying times call for not only our best intentions but our best efforts and disciplines. So how do we get there?

Many people find that changing their environment can re-establish their otherwise stale restorative processes. One client recently shared that like many others, he moved his yoga practice into his basement when his preferred yoga studio closed. He said that in the 6th week of doing yoga in his basement, he wanted to give up yoga … until he had the idea of moving it outside onto the deck overlooking his backyard. He reported that even on the brisk mornings we’re still having in Central New York, he gets up every morning recharged to go out and do yoga.

Trying a new practice can breathe new life into intentional restoration. For people who find creative practices restorative, you might experiment with a new media. For example, instead of your chosen craft, you might try getting back to the fundamentals with an online drawing class. If your normal pursuits are 2D like drawing or painting, you might attempt a 3D creative process like sculpture or woodworking. With today’s technology, writing music is another path to explore, no instrument required – all you need is your smart phone! You might write poetry, short stories, or perhaps that epic novel that has been peering out from the shadows of your psyche. In my house, early morning – before the family gets too noisy and busy – has been the time for such experimentation.

Most people with regular exercise regimes like to “mix it up” by focusing on different exercise styles and outcomes, such as cardio three days a week and weight training two days a week. If you’re caught without a gym and equipment, it might be a ripe opportunity to take up brisk walking or jogging, or dusting off the bicycle.

Restorative practices are part of several trainings we offer at Emergent, as well as a topic that often surfaces in our coaching engagements. Stress relief, building resiliency and high performance are outcomes we can all benefit from. If this blog motivates you to try something new – or to get started – please comment and let us know what you’re doing to restore your energy!

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