The phrase “scheduled recovery” was coined by researcher Wolfgang Linden, from the University of British Columbia. The idea is to develop structures and habits that build recovery into our daily lives. This goes back to the theory of our bodies needing actual recovery time after some sort of physical or mental exertion.
“Scheduled recovery” is different from collapsing in front of a screen each night. It is actively planning and developing a routine that helps us recover, physically and mentally.
Three kinds of recovery time have been identified: rest time, recreation time and relationship time. They are the “3Rs” of being productive and healthy, by recovering well.
- Rest time. Rest time is time to be rather than do. It is time to stop action and let yourself fully rest. The key to rest time is that it is fundamentally passive and not about being productive (achieving or producing something). Many of us struggle to do this, as we live in a world where productivity is highly valued. Ideas for rest time include lying or sitting down, inside or outside, and doing nothing; having a bath or spa; or listening to peaceful music.
- Recreation time. This is time to do the fun things – activities that replenish your energy, uplift your spirits and give you pleasure. Think of it as play for grown-ups. So it might be gardening, reading, seeing a movie, going for a walk or playing sport. Ideally, you will have some recreation time alone and some with other people, so recreation time and relationship time can be combined.
- Relationship time. Time to enjoy being with another person or people.