Five Ways to Recover Mentally

For athletes, days off are important for physical recovery and muscle repair, but they are also imperative for mental wellness. If your motivation is flagging, you’re disappointed in your progress or you’re simply in a funk because #life, resetting your mental rheostat could be just what you need to get back on track, both in and out of the gym. Here are five ways to give your brain the R&R it needs, replenishing your mental coffers and ultimately buoying your physical progress.

Give your brain a rest.

Be Present

Sounds crunchy and granola, but being mindful and in the moment means that you can’t focus on anything other than the present — not the past or the future, both of which can make you anxious and stressed. No matter what you’re doing — sitting, working, walking or cooking — take five minutes to focus on the here and now, and use all five of your senses to bring awareness to the present: Smell the air, feel the grass, hear the laughter, taste the food or watch the rain falling. Feel yourself sinking back into negative thought patterns? Choose a word to repeat to yourself like “calm,” or use a physical cue such as snapping a rubber band worn around your wrist to help bring you back to the present.

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