Signature Leaders Blog
Reminders to Inspire

Fall Back: Mindfulness and Recovery in a Found Hour

Posted by Carol Seymour on Nov 2, 2015 5:43:00 AM
Carol Seymour

Dear friends came to my house for the weekend. As we sat at the dinner table on Halloween night watching the costumed children go past, I heard someone say, “Fall Back. I love getting an extra hour this time of year!”

Quite frankly, I had forgotten this was the night of “Fall Back,” (otherwise known as Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. or Summertime in Europe). I was somewhat disappointed that I missed the anticipation throughout the entire day of deciding what I would do with that extra 60 minutes. Around the table, we began to discuss what we would do with the gift of an hour.
  • “Mine is unplanned, I am just going to take it when it feels right.”
  • “Definitely an extra hour of sleep.”
  • “Tackle a chore I keep putting off.”
I never have actually tried to allocate my “extra hour” ahead of time. Instead, I use it as a bonus chip throughout the night and day. When I wake up during the night and the clock says 3:00 am, I can declare “it is really only 2:00 am.” In fact, I don’t turn my clocks back until late in the day, so I can play that game for as long as possible. It creates the sense that I have more than just one hour to gain back. The mind game I play with the hour bonus gives me a much-needed “reframe” activity. I know it can provide a crucial recovery moment if I plan it right. It reminds me of the importance of mindset and recovery in our life.

Building Time for Mindset and Recovery

Our valued partner, TIGNUM Company has a powerful approach to creating sustainable performance. TIGNUM trains thousands of corporate executives on integrating mindset, movement, nutrition and recovery to create energy throughout the day so we can perform at our best and sustain that level of performance. Our Signature Program participants take the TIGNUM Sustainable High Performance Index survey. The tool assesses current habits and their impact on executional stamina, mental agility and resilience. It might not come as a huge surprise that recovery areas generate the lowest scores for each Signature class. In fact, almost 50% of our last Signature class scored below a 2.7 on a scale of 5 in this category. Recovery is always given the short shrift. Yet, according to University of Southern California neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, “downtime is critical to facilitating the cognitive functions responsible for creating and developing our personalities, helping us understand behavior, including our own.” After coming to understand the concept of recovery several years ago, I started adding in a “20 minute window” three times a week. I identified that 20 minutes as “special time,” and protected it. I always do something for myself in that 20 minutes that is unrelated to work. It may sound crazy, but that short allocated, protected, and completed time carries a lot of mental satisfaction and recovery. (Even if all I’ve done is read a magazine!) If recovery time is so important for our health, why don’t we prioritize it? In the November issue of MORE Magazine (which I read during my 20 minutes), Susan Gregory Thomas studies this difficult challenge in her article How To Make Time For Yourself. One big reason she cites for not making time for recovery is “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO). It’s interesting to think that we’d opt to do something just because others have decided to spend their time on it when the alternative is a personal moment that promises to yield such benefit.

Valuing the Fall Back Hour

This year, as I considered what I could do with my extra “Fall Back” hour, I realized it is the same as a whole week's worth of “20 minute” windows! It made it seem even more special. I knew just what to do with my time – write this blog to share some great ideas from our Signature Network.

Slept in and had an extra cup of coffee! (Leslie Pchola, Signature Program #1)

Gym and yoga today, restoring body and mind. (Lisa Butler, Signature Program #4)

I'm going through my closet and purging the clothes I haven't worn in the last two years. (Leigh Anne Baker, Signature Program Advisor)

Get the hot tub ready for the winter season. I love relaxing in it when the weather is cold and crisp so we decommission it in the spring and refill in the fall. It should be ready by this evening, so I'll be in it enjoying a weekend wrap up! (Kari Groh, Signature Program faculty)

I spent my extra hour enjoying time with my brother and sister in law, and nieces and nephews around the fire last night. It allowed me to stay up past my bedtime knowing I could still get up in time to go to church! (Laurie Amerson, Signature Program #7)

What did you do with the gift of time today? Please share below!

Topics: Intentional Mindset, Setting Priorities

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