Myths about Recovery

"After a long workday, the best relaxation is watching TV"

Incorrect. Relaxation is a state of low activation and increased positive affect. Binge-watching will not so much enhance your recovery, unless you deliberately choose that this night you will watch 2 episodes of your favorite series. Watching television will make you feel relaxed, if you are deactivated and it increases your positive affect. 

"Recovery does not have an impact on my energy level"

Wrong. Employees who engage in recovery activities in the evening, will feel more vigorous the next morning. They are more engaged the next working day and will perform better. We also observed this phenomenon in an extended diary study. We noticed that if employees detach more in the evening, they will have a higher level of energy in the morning.

"Just leaving work is enough to detach"

Incorrect. Everyone has an attention residue; thoughts about a previous task persist and intrude in other tasks or in the rest of your life.  So, leaving work, you have to make an effort to not only physically but also mentally leave the workplace. Installing a decompression ritual could help set boundaries between your work and the rest of your life.

"Doing a hobby in the evening will make me feel more tired"

Incorrect. Even though mastery experiences put additional demands on the individual, these experiences result in recovery. They will help you to build up new internal resources such as skills, competencies, and self-efficacy. So even if it makes you feel tired and you want to spend a lazy evening at home, think about the positive effects it can have!

"My job stressors have no impact on my recovery"

Incorrect. Research states that job stressors are related to different recovery experiences. For example, time pressure makes it difficult to switch off from work during leisure time and a high amount of workload hinders relaxation. 

"Recovery experiences are not related to my well-being"

Incorrect. Research state that different recovery experiences are related to several indicators of psychological well-being. If your recovery experiences are low, it can harm your well-being. But individuals who have impaired well-being, are less likely to enjoy positive recovery experiences. The relationship works in both ways.

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