The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

How to rest and recharge

I had an epiphany. Time out is essential!

If you’d like, you can listen to this blog on YouTube here.

Sitting still is not one of my strong points. I’m usually busy with a horse or with a child. If I am sitting still, it will usually be at my desk, writing, studying, or working on my computer. For years, friends and family have advised me to slow down, take a breather, make some time for myself, and have a rest, or I’ll burn out. Honestly, I do listen, and I do try!

Listening to a Daily Jay meditation from Calm, the importance of taking time out finally dawned on me. As is often the case, it was when I made the link to something I know and understand. As a Chartered Physiotherapist, I’m well aware (and indeed, I spend part of every day preaching) of the importance of rest days in rehabilitation or in an exercise regime. 

When you exercise, some of your muscle fibres literally break down in order to be able to rebuild more effectively relative to the exercise that you are doing. These muscle fibres need time to repair, generally 48-72 hours. This is why you are advised not to do the same type of exercise two days in a row. If you go on the rowing machine one day, do something different the next day so that the muscles that have worked hard on the rowing machine have time to rest and repair. If you focus on lateral work with your horse one day, do something different the next day so that the muscles that work hard in your horse in lateral work have time to rest and repair.

My epiphany was that taking time out for myself works in a similar way. If I study hard, I need to give myself some time off studying so my brain has time to rest and allow those new neural pathways to embed themselves. If I treat several horses in one day, then I need to treat fewer horses the next day to give my body time to rest and repair. If I’m there emotionally for a friend to lean on, I need to give myself some love and attention to be able to stay strong for when I’m needed again. 

Your task today, should you wish to accept it, is to take a pause to think about where in your life you would benefit from taking time out. Even if the most you can manage right now is just one minute, that’s a good starting point. You are worth it.

If you’d like, you can listen to this blog on YouTube here.

Sue Palmer MCSP, aka The Horse Physio, is an author, educator, and award-winning Chartered Physiotherapist. Sue specialises in understanding the links between equine pain and behaviour, caring deeply for her clients, and promoting calm, connection, courage and confidence through curiosity, compassion, clarity, and creativity.

Popular books and online courses from Sue Palmer include:

Harmonious Horsemanship, co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson

Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?

Horse Massage for Horse Owners

Stretching Your Horse: A Guide to Keeping Your Equine Friend Happy and Healthy

Sue is registered with the RAMP, the ACPAT, the IHA, the CSP and the HCPC.