I ran into a friend the other day that has just returned from a three-month holiday. Sounds great, right? It was even better because it solved the vertigo she had experienced every day for eight months! Doctors believe a flu virus had been able to attack her nervous system due to chronic stress from demanding work deadlines, poor food choices and limited sleep. However, I know she is not alone in this. I am amazed at the number of people experiencing burnout, particularly young females.
Burnout used to be a term reserved for athletes who were overtraining. A state where they were training so hard and so often that their bodies couldn’t recover adequately. Overtraining has the reverse impact than what was intended. Think increases in fat mass, muscle degeneration, injury and a decrease in performance.
The body doesn’t differentiate between stressors. Stress from exercise has the same response as an emotionally stressful event. Our day-to-day lives have become so jammed packed with stress and our recovery so poor that breakdown is almost inevitable. Hence, the epidemic rises of chronic fatigue and auto-immune disease.
Four common signs you might be on the verge of burnout are:
- Increased muscle soreness and headaches.
- Changes in mood and disengagement with activities such as work.
- Lowered immunity. Getting sick a lot and taking longer to get over sickness.
- Feeling tired and lethargic all the time.
It is important to listen to your body and disregard the need to feel busy. Rest is best. Get good quality sleep, exercise intelligently, take regular brain break holidays and look after your gut with quality foods.
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