The pace of modern life is as high as the cadence of juniors on their first group training rides, leaving little time to slow down and savour. No sooner have we completed our final Haute Route event of the season than we are planning and setting goals for 2020, switched our attention to the cyclocross season, and even started our winter base riding.
Slowing down is beneficial physically and mentally for renewal and recovery but it’s also worthwhile to indulge yourself by soaking up the positive feelings associated with your 2019 cycling experiences and extend them.
Lead researchers in the area define savouring as the “capacity to attend to, appreciate, and enhance the positive experiences in your life”. Perhaps it was completing your first 3 or 7-day event, becoming an iron rider (completing two 7-day back-back events), maybe you finished on the podium or top 10 or you smashed a Strava time on a HC mountain segment.
The nature and scope of your accomplishments does not matter as much as the necessity to really give yourself some time to fully engage and savour them. So, zoom in on your time spent riding the same iconic climbs that grand tour winners have conquered before you, reflect on the new friendships or relationships you deepened at an Haute Route event. You may even wish to recognize the depth of support you received from your friends and family who have been there throughout this year during your absences on long training rides and camps, through injuries or illnesses to ensure you could be at your best.
Research shows that intentionally undertaking savouring increases wellbeing and acts as a buffer against stress.
How often do people actively pause to take the time to reminisce about accomplishments or the significant goals completed?
Pause before moving too promptly to your next objective and extend the positive moments and remember the following points:
1) Congratulate yourself by basking in, celebrating and being proud of your accomplishments and the praise and recognition you’ve received
2) Recall to mind specific positive memories
3) Count your blessings by being thankful and experiencing gratitude in the past, present or future for things, people or experiences in your work and broader life
4) Share your good feelings with others
5) Get some perspective. Appreciate by comparing the outcome to something far worse
So during this week when you are at work try and make a deliberate intention to stop, savour and elongate the positive states and emotions associated with an achievement before you move onto to your next urgent priority. It will make you feel happier and reduce stress.
Words by Nic Frank