How To Quickly Recover From A Challenging Week

We all have them.

Chase Arbeiter
Oct 13, 2020 · 10 min read

Have you ever had one of those weeks that just about broke you? You’re frustrated, irritated, and angry about everything that has taken place. You begin to believe what can go wrong will go wrong.

That problem with your client became worse instead of better. You think you have a sweet deal lined up, and at the last minute, your buyer backs out. You know what you want to write, and it makes sense in your head, but in the end, it just isn’t coming out on the page.

To make matters worse, you’re tired and exhausted from the stress of the week. You’re super frustrated and angry about the week’s events and results. And oh yeah, your child isn’t feeling well, you need a new battery in your car, and to top it all off, your relaxing weekend plans just got derailed.

Life has these weeks.

In week 14 of the 2016 NFL regular season, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had the worst performance of his career, throwing five interceptions in a 38–10 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

How did he respond?

Three days later, on a short week, Russell threw for an efficient 19 completions out of 26 attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team to the NFC West Division title. As Wilson is given credit for saying, “Every setback has a major comeback.”

Like football — in life — we must set ourselves up for comebacks. Whatever happened in these challenging days or weeks or months, we must be willing and prepared to make our comebacks through proper recovery.

  • How do you respond to those challenging weeks?
  • What’s your recovery process for these weeks?
  • Do you find recovery or allow yourself to get beat down?

How you bounce back from these challenging weeks will play a large role in your improvement in life.

Your recovery will impact:

  • Growth towards your best version.
  • Progress towards your most significant and highest goals.
  • Your ability to find peace within difficult times.

If you remain frustrated by past experiences or failures, it leaves you less than your best — something you must fight.

In these times, you need resilience and perseverance. Still, you can only tap into these qualities if you allow yourself a proper recovery.

This post will provide you the necessary mindset needed to recover quicker from a tough and challenging week. You will see the perspectives and thought patterns you must work through to recover and move forward.

It’s not easy. It will take work. It won’t happen by ignoring it.

Successful people keep moving towards their goals and aspirations, no matter the outcomes of their previous week. Not because they don’t have challenging days or weeks and not because they’re superhuman or because they don’t have their struggles, just like the rest of us.

Successful people know how to recover from the challenging times and move forward with strength, perseverance, and willingness to take on the next challenge. Their goals and plans keep moving forward.



And you can use the same strategies in your life. After all, you have big things to accomplish as well.

You have a book to write or a product to launch, and it must be successful; your business depends on it. Your side hustle needs your time and energy, no matter what’s going on in your world — your future depends on it.

I’ll show you how to recover from those tough weeks, much quicker:

  • You’ll be able to get down to the source of what went wrong, then give it an objective assessment, followed by an appropriate response.
  • You’ll learn the real secrets to recovery and why you must have it.
  • Simplicity is powerful, and the basics are where it starts.

Let’s get started!

Let The Mud Settle

“If you let cloudy water settle, it will become clear. If you let your upset mind settle, your course will also become clear.”

— Buddha

It’s not always easy during a horrible week to allow yourself the time to stop and let the dust settle.

In my most stressful weeks and times, I’ll look up, and days or weeks have gone by without me actually realizing how stressed or irritated I am by what’s going on around me. My work, relationships, and health all struggle if I don’t notice this quickly enough.

What we need in these challenging weeks is objectiveness. In this challenging time, objectivity gives us space to see:

  • What’s actually happening — without judgment that comes with emotions?
  • How bad is it?
  • How can we fix what’s in our control?

This skill is what separates the super successful from the successful. Great investors, winning coaches, and leaders of billion-dollar companies all possess the ability to take a problem, break it down into its simple truths, and find a way to fix it.

Warren Buffett has to read through all the data and noise to see what he believes a company is truly worth, not its perception.

NFL coaches watch the film on Monday. Why? So they can see what happened on Sunday, despite what appeared in the moment, good or bad.

Arriving at your desired results demand this level of evaluation: to improve, to grow, to get closer to your goals.

So, we must use this strategy after the tough weeks.

Developing the ability to ask these hard questions and evaluate what takes place with objectivity is the first way to get back on track.

Maybe that client that seems so complicated would be complicated for anybody in your position, regardless of your actions. Your published article that nobody read may still provide you with a writing breakthrough down the line.

The car trouble, the sick child, and the last-minute cancellation weren’t in your control. It feels worse because the rest of the week didn’t go right.

Let the dust settle on your week, then sit down with your journal and list everything that went wrong. (This hurts, but it’s highly useful.)

Next to each item, mark it with an I or O. I = in my control. O = out of my control.

Now mark out the O’s and spend time working on the I’s.

Evaluate the I’s and ask:

  • What could’ve I done better?
  • Could I have avoided this?
  • What did I learn from this?

Now, let it go, and begin your recovery process. No matter how much it stings, you don’t have forever to sit with frustration over this.

This exercise may seem tedious, but it’s quite useful in determining our lives' objective truth. The quicker I can become objective, the quicker I can begin to get back on track and let go of the things I have no control over, which is quite freeing.

Stop Forecasting The Future, Follow The 85% Rule

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.”

— Michel de Montaigne

Have you ever worried or stressed or made a prediction about the future that turned out to be a total overreaction?

Yeah, me too. Not only do I tend to play things out, for the worse, in my head before it’s necessary, but I also play out confrontational conversations that never come to fruition. Rarely do the events that take place in our heads actually play out in life.

A study performed at Cornell University concluded that 85% of what people worry about never happens. Even further, of the 15% that does happen, 79% said it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.

Think back to that challenging week you had recently. What future forecasting did you place in your mind, as a result of the week, that never came to realization?

We all do it. We put these unforeseen predictions on the future. We worry, fret, and go through intense anxiety over things that may or may not happen.

When we’ve had a tough week, we do it even more intensely.

Stop putting the worst-case scenario on your future.

Yes, it could play out like you have built up in your head, but it’s also likely it won’t.

Either way, why put yourself through the pain and anxiety?

Renew Your Batteries

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

— Romans 12:2

Whether you’re a world-class athlete, highly paid creator, or a mom who needs a bath and some time to herself, we all need recovery in life.

You need to take a second for yourself, whether you are sitting alone with your thoughts or enjoying a sunset or watching a movie with a loved one. Or, perhaps you need some vitamin D and a long walk or a 5-mile run or a heavy bag at the gym.

Maybe you need several great nights of sleep. Whatever it is, you need to make your recovery a priority.

Recovery is a critical component of renewing the mind.

I always know when my recovery isn’t in a strong place. I’m not getting enough sleep, I’m not exercising, and I’m typically eating too much junk and fast food, on top of being slightly dehydrated. This all mixes up into a horrible mood.

When I find myself in these times, which we all do, from time to time, I have to get real with myself and make it a priority to get back to the basics. Sleep, exercise, good nutrition.

Here are some great ways to find recovery that I’ve found work:

  • Go for a long walk and allow your mind to wander.
  • Sit in a room with your thoughts—good or bad—and work through them one by one without any noise, distractions, or judgment.
  • Write down everything you are feeling, good and bad, and get it out on the paper.
  • Perform a “mind sweep”—dump anything, big or small that needs to be done out onto paper and out of your head.
  • Find some time in the weekend to take a nap.
  • Try going to be an hour earlier this weekend or sleeping in an extra hour than usual.
  • Watch a light-hearted or funny movie with a loved one.
  • Take the time for a date night with your favorite person.

Schedule and make time to commit to a recovery process that brings you more clarity.

This will take an effort to prioritize and make sure this gets done, but it’s worth your sanity and energy for yourself and those who need you at your best.

Be Simple

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

— Leonardo Da Vinci

Oftentimes, when you have a rough week, you may determine that life has become overly complicated.

Maybe you’re trying to do too much at one time. Perhaps you don’t have your priorities in line. Maybe your expectations are too high to meet, or you aren’t giving yourself any room to breathe.

You’re trying to start a new company, write a book, start a new workout regimen, eat a new diet, and keep up with what’s going on with your friends through Facebook—all at the same time.

It’s hard.

You only have so much energy to spend each day, and you are exhausting every ounce you have and then some.

That’s a lot to try and handle all at the same time.

Are you capable? Maybe. But, at what cost? What will you have to sacrifice?

Sleep. Family. Sanity. The energy you don’t have.

Look, it’s easy to think that successful people have an incredible ability to handle 1,000 things at one time. That’s what most of us believe.

Here’s the truth: they focus on the simple, the essential, and the basics.

They have learned to do something that most likely, you haven’t.

They say, “No.”

Successful writers, entrepreneurs, and anyone living at a higher level, understand how to say, “no.” It’s critical towards staying focused and committed to the things that matter most in their world.

So they keep things simple. Simple is good. Complicated is bad.

After a team suffers a terrible loss in sports, you’ll often hear the coach say something along this line, “we need to get back to the basics.” Coaches realize that somewhere in the team’s journey, they lost sight of the basics.

I don’t even know how many times a quarter, I sit down, sort through my typical day, and look to eliminate something that has become a regular thing but isn’t necessary. My biggest weakness is my desire to be constantly learning, which is great, but not when I put too much emphasis on it and get out of control. I know when I’m trying to put too much self-development and learning into my life at one time and in one day.

So, periodically, I will re-evaluate the email newsletters I subscribe to, podcasts I subscribe to, and get back to the daily routine minimums that keep me happy and focused. For instance, 30 minutes of exercise, a short walk, 30 minutes of reading, and writing are my basics. If I can get these fundamentals in, along with spending time with my family, life is great!

No matter what you’re doing in life, you have to have a great understanding of the basics.

Do you need to get back to the basics?

If you break your week or day down, what are the essential elements?

How much time, energy, and focus are you wasting on the unessential?

This week, focus on your day’s most essential parts that matter the most to you having a winning week. Everything else, commit to ignoring.

“Every moment is a fresh beginning.”

— TS Elliot

To Sum Up

Recovering from a challenging week is something that requires your action and attention. It’s not easy, but when executed, it will bring:

  • Objectiveness on what went wrong in your week and clarity on what was in and out of your control.
  • Renewed energy to put towards tackling your most meaningful goals.
  • Simplicity, through focus and commitment on the basics.

How you recover from a tough week is essential to the quality of your life.

You will encounter obstacles and challenges all along your journey.

The true worth and ability to live an extraordinary life will ultimately result from how you respond, rather than the actual breaks and misfortunes that occur.

For you to recover, you must understand this and be ready with the appropriate response, time and time again, no matter how hard it may seem.

  • Are you handling a challenging week in a way that makes things better or worse?
  • Is your recovery process healthy or unhealthy?
  • If you applied these strategies, would it benefit you?
  • How would this resilience improve your life?

Your future, your peace, and happiness all depend on this.

How you recover and how quickly you recover from these challenging weeks is up to you.

If you adopt this process, you will recover quicker, move forward, and get closer to achieving your goals, even when the best weeks don’t occur.

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