Rachael Downie shares her recovery wisdom

For recovery wisdom: Sharpen the Saw

Here, Rachael shares some dynamite recovery wisdom. Something all hospitality peeps need to acknowledge and accept. Tired is as tired does, and burn out helps no one. 

“I attended a conference a number of years ago where one of the speakers talked about Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In his book Steven talks about sharpening your saw by working 12mths in 11mths and taking 4 weeks holiday. This was something that I couldn’t even comprehend back then – particularly because I justified my existence by being “busy”. Thankfully I have changed this and take regular holidays throughout the year and I encourage everyone to do the same.

It wasn’t until I started studying the Lead the Field program recently that I heard a story about swimming that I wanted to apply this “sharpen the saw” approach to each week instead of each year.

Brian Biro was one of America’s top swimming coaches. He explained, when a swimmer is bringing their arm down through the water; that is referred to as a resistance stroke. When they take their hand out of the water, bring their arm back over getting ready to go back in the water, he called that a recovery stroke.

It didn’t mater how strong a swimmer’s resistance stroke was, if they didn’t have a good recovery stroke, they would never make it in competitive swimming. An effective recovery is something we all require – frequently.

Last week I did this and took an entire Saturday off and completely focused on family activities, walking on the beach relaxing and having a sleep – the recovery phase.

Next week I am even going to bring in to my ‘recovery’ a social media free day as well. I recognized that I needed to make recovery a regular part of my week and day, and am now creating time for this within my weekly plan.

Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest assets you have – YOU. It means having a balanced program for renewal in the four areas of your life. 1) Physical, 2) Social/Emotional, 3) Mental, 4) Spiritual.

Some ideas could include Physical – Exercising, beneficial eating and resting. Social/Emotional – Making social and meaningful connections with others. Mental – Learning, reading, writing and teaching. Spiritual – Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer or service

What can you do this week that can be your “recovery stroke”?”

Rachael 🙂 – (send Rachael an email below if you’re interested. She’d love to hear from you!)


  1. ben walker on August 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Great post. My job whilst rewarding, like many is demanding both cognitively and emotionally & also is very sedentary . One of the ways that I ‘switch off’ is thru road cycling. For me it can almost be meditative at times & it helps me burn off stress as does doing some light resistance workouts.

  2. Chrissie Green on August 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Ben. It’s an issue, isn’t it? For me it’s that discipline to keep up those good habits that I find tough!