We all can run ourselves into the ground. It’s a specialty for some of us, including yours truly.
The demands of running a business, frequent travel, family duties, community commitments, etc, etc, compound at times to find us as near “heaps” on the ground. I personally am predisposed to ‘near-heap’ state on Fridays, after an exciting yet excruciating long week.
If you have hit this state and are nearing your limit, there are several signs:
- Heightened heart rate. Unusually labored breathing with simple movement, e.g. walking up stairs at home.
- Trouble concentrating or thinking deeply. ‘Brain fog’.
- Becoming over-tired and exhausted to the point that you have trouble getting to sleep.
- Feeling ‘run down’. Scratchy throat, sniffles, headache.
While avoiding this state is preferable to begin with — once you get here, you must proceed with caution to avoid full blown illness. You must do this:
Yes, Rest. And walk. Drop the high intensity workouts for the time being until you regain your wits and strength. This is no time to be a hero or martyr, lest you become ill. Many of us have learned this lesson many times over. Exercise is a stressor – mostly healthy for us; but given too many stressors, exercise will act against you. When exhausted, you are already at stress capacity, and intense exercise is one more stress than can break you at this point.
Gentle movement such as walking, rebounding, yoga and pilates can be wonderful restorative activities. If you feel the urge to push yourself, walk briskly or add some hills or stairs. Always do so with keen awareness of your body and your state. Ease up if you feel over-tired. Most times we simply need to give our bodies a break to repair and replenish — and to catch up with our crazy ambitions and fast-paced lives. And don’t forget to hydrate with clean water and strive for extra sleep.
Have you found yourself hitting this state? How do you prevent progressing to full-blown illness or burnout? We’d love to hear your experiences and strategies in the comments below.
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Eat Clean + Breathe Deep + Move Often = Never Settle™