NuroseneDec 20

The 4 Recovery Personas: Which One Are You?

Advice From the Frontlines

We’re not all the same size. We don’t all have the same symptoms when we’re sick. And we don’t all love the same food.

That’s why we have small, medium, and large, cold, flu, allergy, and sinus medicine, and menus.

Cookie-cutter solutions and one-size-fits-all approaches simply aren’t good enough, and inevitably leave too many people with their needs being left unmet.

And that includes your rest and recovery.

Sure, there are some universal strategies that most of us would benefit from using, but a truly effective recovery plan is tailored to you. Your needs. Your situation.

Your persona.

An empty bench under a tree overlooking dusk setting over the water

Finding Yourself

We’re all unique individuals with distinct needs, experiences, and behavior.

That said, there are personas — a composite sketch or fictional character with shared characteristics that represents a segment of an audience, userbase, or larger group — that exist for virtually everything.

Marketers use them to target with precision. Designers use them to create a product or service that meets their specific needs and wants. Employers use them to fill positions. And on and on.

As the saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. That’s impossible.

But if you can find yourself in one of the identified personas, it’s like getting personal attention, but at scale.

These are the four that I see most often in my work on the frontline of performance and rehabilitation.

Can you find yourself here?

1. The Overtrained

Head with weight icon and 'Overtrained' underneath it

You know the type. Maybe it’s you.

These people would literally do anything other than skip a training session or miss a day at the gym.

And while that’s not automatically a bad thing — commitment is a big part of success — it’s often combined with pushing too hard for too long.

The overtrained are almost always dealing with some level of aches, pain, and/or injuries because of the intensity with which they approach, well, everything.

So, what’s the best way to recover for someone who rarely, if ever, takes a break?

The simple answer? Take a break. Take a rest and recovery day.

But if you’re unwilling to do that — or even reduce the volume and intensity — understand that your body is going to need some help. Quality supplements can assist with exercise microtrauma. Chiropractors, massage therapists, cryotherapy, and physiotherapists can facilitate or encourage repair and recovery.

Of course, that all costs money. Are you ready and able to pony up?

Too much of a good thing can be as bad as too little. Overdo it with your training, and you’ll likely suffer an injury at some point that forces you to take your foot off the gas.

2. The Busy Bee

Head with bee icon and 'Busy Bee' underneath it

If you’re constantly running full tilt, flitting from one thing to another, and trying to be better than everyone else at everything, you’ll probably see yourself in this group.

The busy bees — often referred to as Type A personalities — lean towards competitiveness, time urgency, and workaholism. Too much to do, too little time, and few can do it as effectively as you.

They’re outgoing, organized, and ambitious, but also impatient, anxious, and self-critical.

Type As are always feeling the time crunch — real or perceived — that comes with trying to do too much. And as a result, they have to compromise on other aspects of their lives.

The first to go? Sleep.

But too little sleep is a surefire way to increase your stress and anxiety while decreasing your physical, mental, and immune performance.

The key to recovery for the busy bees among us is quality sleep. Increase the amount you’re getting at night by an hour each month until you’re within the 8–9 hours range. Remove televisions and other screens — including your smartphone — from your bedroom. No late night exercise. Try the tech shutdown in the Nuro app.

Even a busy bee needs to land once in a while.

3. The Sedentary

Head with chair icon and 'Sedentary' underneath it

Our lives are largely sedentary in the modern world. We sit at desks, in cars, on couches.

The sedentary are not moving enough, so it may seem counterintuitive that they need to recover. But they do.

Our bodies are designed to move. To walk, pull, jump, lift, duck, run, push, and crawl. That’s our “normal”.

And to recover is to return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength (whatever that may be).

There might be psychological and/or physiological reasons why someone is not moving as much as they could be. And if so, it’s important to identify them for any recovery plan.

Are there any physical barriers? Injuries, bad shoulders, herniated discs? These must be acknowledged and treated.

Are there any mental or emotional barriers? Past trauma, depression, mental illness? Likewise, they have to be acknowledged and dealt with, not ignored and swept under the rug. Dig deeper.

Body and mind. Brain and body.

Physical and mental issues can manifest in seemingly disconnected ways. Fix the root, and the entire tree gets better.

4. The Scatterbrain

Head with scattered circles icon and 'Scatterbrain' underneath it

Chronically stressed. Disorganized. Constantly overthinking. Forgetful. Unable to focus. Mind going 100 mph in 1,000 different directions.

Sound familiar?

We’ll see them (perhaps even be them) frantically chasing down last minute gifts on Christmas Eve, or completing a frenzied trip to the liquor store before it closes for a couple days.

Similar to the Busy Bee, but the Scatterbrain never feels fully in control or on top of things. Stress is their near-constant companion, and they typically feel like they’ve forgotten… something.

The key to recovery for them? Slow down. Stop and smell those proverbial roses.

First, focus on your sleep, both quantity and quality. Are you getting enough? Is your bedroom and bedtime routine conducive to getting a great night’s sleep (no screens, no bright lights, comfortable temperature)?

Next, turn to your breathing. The way you are breathing can cause physical and mental changes in your body and mind. Fast and shallow tends to up our stress and anxiety levels.

But exercises like the 2 Minute Reset in the Nuro app can help calm you down. 20–30 minutes of dedicated deep, abdominal breathing can melt tension and ease clenched shoulders and muscles.

So sleep. Breath. Give that brain a chance to collect its thoughts.

And recover.