Burnout: When to Take a Break

While it is important to maintain a sense of motivation and drive to keep active and reach your goals, it is also admirable to have a sense of self-awareness and know when to slow down or to take a break.

We can’t always pinpoint the trigger for our bodies or minds needing a break. Fatigue or hormonal imbalance? Is your body beginning to feel sluggish? Maybe you're ill. Maybe it's just the start of the snotty cold/flu season. Sometimes it's best to hit the pause button before your body forces you to stop completely.

Signs that it may be time to take a break

Depending on your circumstances, there may be two different feelings when you're doubting the ability to workout on the day;

· When the brain says yes but the body says no.

· When the mind says no, but the body says yes.

For me, I think it is important to listen to my body. If my mind is saying no, I am able to remind myself that I will feel better after moving my body. I can also shorten the time or decrease the effort level during the session to reap some of the physical and mental benefits of exercise and movement.

If my body is telling me no, I recognise that it can be a sign that it is time to take a break. Each of us knows our individual bodies best. Our bodies will do their best to let us know when it needs a time-out.

Burnout - why you need to know about it

We all know the importance of having and sticking to a plan or program for optimal improvements in fitness and health. It is easy to get so focused on our goals and routine that we push through niggles, fatigue and exhaustion. This determination to stray from our plans can have a detrimental effect if we don’t approach it with a flexible attitude where we adjust and adapt based on our bodies.

Among the many ways burnout can manifest itself are fatigue, sleep issues, gastrointestinal issues, mood issues and appetite changes. A failure to recognise the need for a rest can cause bigger problems, such as injury or illness. If it doesn't physically prevent you from being active through an injury, you may develop an emotional aversion to exercise. Burnout can strike whether you're following a training plan or trying to achieve a specific goal.

Things to consider if you find yourself feeling burnt out:

· Do you enjoy the training and exercise that you are doing?

· Is the amount and intensity of the exercise in your schedule right for you?

· Are there specific exercises or sessions that your body struggles to recover from?

What you can do if you are feeling burnt out:

· Practice self-care. Find what works for you! Some ideas include:

-Find a calm, quiet place to sit in nature

-Have a bath

-Make yourself a healthy meal from scratch

-Take a walk in the sun

-Show gratitude

-Take a break from social media

-Put your phone on airplane mode for a period of time

· Change your scheduled workout to a recovery workout such as yoga

· Focus on low intensity activities such as walking

· Rest! Focus on getting quality sleep and allow your mind and body to rest as much as possible

Listening to your body when it is asking for a break is essential for both your physical and mental health. By slowing down for a short period, you may avoid long term injury or illness. Your body and mind will thank you for listening in the long term!

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