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  • Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

How does "recovery" complement your ability to push?

Pushing -- to create, expand, understand, achieve, communicate in a healthy way -- is an important and exciting part of living a full, whole-hearted life.

Riding the unpredictable waves with resilience is required to imagine and start a new business, welcome a baby into the family, move into a new home, build community from scratch, make a significant career move, retire, start all over again, have a difficult conversation.

Sticking-with-the-really-hard-stuff can be exhilarating and empowering and it can also be very hard work... let's not fool ourselves (or expect that our family and colleagues don't notice).

Fatigue and overwhelm creeps up regularly and surprises even the most resilient and accomplished of us. Which of these do you recognize?

  • snappishness

  • tears (at work or when you get home)

  • an inability to complete the big project

  • procrastination

  • outbursts of anger

  • retreating from family members

  • over drinking

  • over eating

  • endless scrolling

  • a feeling of "I just can't..."

That fatigue, though uncomfortable, is delivering a critical message.

"Recovery is an important and critical complement to pushing."

When you are ready to take recovery seriously, here are a few things to consider...

What fills you up? Invest in yourself by taking a moment to consider what fills you up, dismissing what others or the self-help books say you "should" do...

  • I love to be in nature during all seasons; that fills me up.

  • I get filled up by getting enough sleep.

  • I know that sunshine fills me up; I love sunshine.

  • Adventure nurtures me.

  • I need several hours a day all by myself to feel human.

What is the balance that works for you? Make it tangible so it becomes real.

  • I want to be in nature for at least an hour three or four times a week and I also want to spend at least one vacation a year immersed in a wilderness experience. I will create a plan with maps of nature preserves I want to visit and I will find time on my calendar.

  • I know that sleeping is important for me, I will focus on getting 8 hours at night and taking at least one nap on most weekends. If that means sleep training and a bottle for the baby and keeping the dog out of the bedroom, so be it.

  • I work in a big building, so I will walk during lunch at least three days a week and take a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny in the winter. I'll keep sneakers at my desk and plan for the cold and I'll block the time on my calendar so that meetings don't override this important "me" time.

  • I love adventure so I am going to plan some small adventures close to home at least two times a month, as well as one big international adventure each year. I will start looking for what's happening in my community and notice what feels fun and then I'll put events down on my calendar.

  • I need time alone so will look at my calendar and block one or two hours each day that I can spend thinking, reflecting, creating. I want to continue my poetry practice; that will feel nice.

How will you create space to walk your talk? You are responsible for walking the talk, for creating the plan, for carving out the time, for reshaping it based on what works and what doesn't work as well. No one else will do it for you. Own it, walk it.

As you practice "recovery" as a compliment to your ability to push, notice how it feels.

Actions, aligned with values, support optimal health.


Hello, I'm Ricka.

Ricka Kohnstamm Executive & Physician Coach Profile Photo

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



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