Whenever I think of my childhood, I recall how energetic I was in my younger days. Whether I was running around with my friends in the garden or cycling for miles to reach my school, I do not remember getting tired. Everything seemed so easy and I used to wonder why older people were so slow and lethargic.
After staying fighting-fit throughout my time at college, I cannot remember when “my age” hit me right in the face. I could see videos on YouTube that showed people with toned stomachs and bulging biceps, working in the gym for long hours. Everywhere I looked, I could see someone excelling at a sport or an activity.
Suddenly, it felt difficult to get out of bed after a hike on Sunday. Many invitations to squash games were declined after a stressful Friday at the office. It became difficult for me to maintain my fitness regimen and stick to my work. I no longer felt any excitement while doing activities that I used to love doing. A quick search through Google and I knew that I was suffering from burnout.
How I Burnt “Burnout”
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to figure out if I was suffering from burnout or going through a midlife crisis. I took the help of my fitness trainer and he confirmed that I was going through a phase that many people go through in their lifespan. That day, I took a pledge that I will fight my body’s signals and get out of the lazy lifestyle that I was becoming so used to.
My trainer told me that information floating around on social media is one of the major culprits in today’s world that leads to mental and physical burnout. When you see your peers working out for hours and building up rippling muscles, you start aping their routine without realising what’s best for you. He told me that a lot of people are on crazy diets and medications that allow them to build strength and improve stamina. For amateur athletes like me who work in a 9 to 5 shift, it is almost impossible to copy such a lifestyle.
I learned a lot from my trainer. He created a new exercise plan for me that was to be followed rigorously for a month. With no expectations and a fresh objective, my spirit was rejuvenated. The next day, I woke up and felt amazing. I was ready to take on the challenge of balancing out my work and fitness regimen. After a month of regular gymming and fitness activities, I no longer felt the same burnout that I used to experience before.
Importance of Rest
Apart from new techniques and a new approach to my workout, I also learned a lot about rest. Resting is not as easy as it sounds. When you get into fitness, you feel the need to do more every single day. The challenge lies in curbing your basic instincts and having the belief that what you have done is good enough. Workout to a limit and provide your body with ample rest so that it can recover after a hard day’s work out.
Beat the Stress with Yoga
Physical burnout is easier to prevent than mental burnout. Only when you are able to conquer the mental burnout is the battle against burnout truly won. Stress is a major cause of mental fatigue and burnout. To stop the stress from building up, I took up Yoga and gained immediate results. With regular meditation, I felt my mind become clearer and stronger.
The overall fitness of mind and body is of paramount importance for a burnout-free life, which can be achieved by a holistic approach and a new perspective.