Rest and Recovery
-Domonique Martin PT, DPT, ATC; Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports
As physical therapists, we are often very in tune with the need to educate our patients on the importance of holistic recovery. We spend time discussing mental and physical repair required for complete healing, but how often do we follow our own advice? Much like our patients, we can benefit from restorative strategies to improve stress management, mental resilience, and overall health. Here are 3 tips to help.
- Find a nonwork-related outlet.
Exercising, cooking, reading are all hobbies that can help with mental recovery following a long day at work. Physical activity is great stress reliever and mental reset that can help you feel more relaxed and sometimes fall asleep easier. Just try not to exercise too close to bedtime, as the energy boost may keep you from falling asleep.
- Aim for a full night’s rest.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for adults. Addressing sleep hygiene can be the key you need to getting a restful night’s sleep. Try to go to bed around the same time each night, including weekends. This can help your body get into a rhythm and learn when to wind down. Plan to “unplug” and discontinue the use of electronic devices 60 minutes prior to bed. Create an optimal sleep environment by setting a comfortable temperature, darkening the room, and integrating calming sounds or smells.
- Use a sleep journal
If you find yourself having difficulty getting adequate sleep each night, track your daily habits. A sleep journal can help you track meals, alcohol/ caffeine, medications, exercise and their effect on your sleep pattern and alertness. Wearable technology can also help you track your sleep each night, your activity through the day and how they are dependent.
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