Friday, May 20, 2011

Breathe Strategy - Recuperation

I think I may have mentioned before that the first time I heard the word "recuperation" as something that I needed to do for myself it was a completely foreign word to me.  Not to mention that it is a requirement for our bodies to function properly in the whole cycle of our lives (see blog entry Circles & Triangles).  I had understood that we needed to rest, such as getting enough sleep at night (which I didn't do for a long time and still struggle with), not burning the candle at both ends (which I always did) and rest on the Sabbath day (which I always do, it is the only time I have always allowed myself to rest).  But as for actual "recuperation" I just didn't realize how much our bodies need it.

I looked up recuperation in the dictionary and this is what it says:


[ri-koo-puh-reyt, -kyoo-] verb -at·ed, -at·ing.
–verb (used without object)
1. to recover from sickness or exhaustion; regain health or strength.
2. to recover from financial loss.
–verb (used with object)
3. to restore to health, vigor, etc.
1535–45; < Latin recuperātus  (past participle of recuperāre,  variant of reciperāre  to recover), equivalent to re- re- + -ciper-,  combining form of *caper-  (obscure derivative of capere  to take) + -ātus -ate1

re·cu·per·a·tion, noun
non·re·cu·per·a·tion, noun
un·re·cu·per·at·ed, adjective
1.  heal, mend.

This last Friday I was having what I have been calling a "down" day.  When my husband got home from work and I was telling him about it, he asked me to describe how I was feeling that day.  As I thought about how to describe what I was feeling, I realized I wasn't "down" (which I usually mean depressed) I was "recuperating."  When I am feeling down, I feel low in my emotions, I have no desire to do anything, I feel sad, but don't know why and so on.  But Friday I was just exhausted, I slept a lot, and the thought of my To Do list didn't even enter my head (not much entered my head) which is usually my main concern every day, even on "down" days.  I suddenly could see the difference, I wasn't feeling down and low, I was recuperating.  I had spent all my energy during the previous days and I was just drained and needed to recharge. 

Allowing myself to recuperate has been difficult in the past or generally non-existent.  But now that I am fully aware of how I actually feel when my body needs to recuperate (being aware is definitely a first step) I can understand more of what is going on with myself.  I would generally berate myself for one of these days thinking I am being lazy, but now I understand I need these days to sort of reboot myself and then I will be ready to go again (which I was the next day - I did tons of yard work).  I now understand how I feel physically and mentally when my body needs some recuperation time and I will listen to that message and allow myself that time.

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