Being continuously busy means we continuously press the gas pedal of our autonomous nervous system (called the sympathetic nervous system). It is the part of our nervous system that keeps us on our toes, constantly alert and vigilant for any potential threat. Long ago those threats were physical – a prowling lion or a tribal warrior with a spear. These days they are the short deadlines, the endless emails or the constant change of direction that threatens our peace and balance. By physical recovery we therefore mean finding effective physical ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, that part of the system that moderates stress and takes care of our relaxation.

Thus, physical recovery is about using our physical body to counter-balance excessive stress. Here are some tips for effective physical recovery that supports the body’s relaxation response. All the tips can be implemented in our home-work environment:

Prioritize your sleep

Sleep is our number one recovery mechanism. Through sleep we recharge on all levels – physical, emotional and mental.

  1. Go to bed one hour earlier.
  2. Switch off all screens at least one hour before bedtime. 
  3. Maintain good sleep hygiene: dark and quiet room, cool bed, no screens in the bedroom.

For more ideas, check out our extended content at

Move to discharge stress

We mostly think of our body as a harbinger of stress – tight shoulders, painful neck, heavy head. However, our body is also a wonderful tool for discharging stress, if used mindfully and with consideration.

  • Go outside for a breath of fresh air, even if it is for five minutes on your balcony.
  • Go for a longer walk in nature whenever possible. A park or garden near your home would be perfectly suitable.
  • Stop once an hour for at least one minute of movement: sprint on the spot, do some squats or sit-ups or hold a plank position. One minute every hour? Surely, we can all do that. And one minute is better than none.
  • Check out the ‘7 minute workout’ app to operate all your gross muscles and work out a bit of sweat in 7 minutes net, in your work room and without any equipment.

For plenty more ideas, check out our extended content at

Eat to support your body

Choose foods that promote physical calm and reduce or avoid those that over-stimulate.

  1. Keep caffeine levels moderate, the equivalent of max 3-4 cups of coffee a day (caffeine is also found in black tea, chocolate, Coca Cola, sports drinks and in a number of medications).
  2. Reduce consumption of added sugars in sugary foods and drinks – cakes, cookies, desserts, soft drinks – especially in the evening. Regular consumption of added sugars can cause enough blood sugar fluctuations to keep you awake at night and sleepy during the day.
  3. Enjoy a relaxing cup of herbal tea during the day and/or before bedtime. Chamomile, lavender and Valerian root teas are good examples.

For more ideas, check out our extended content at