Burnout - the product of mental, emotional and often physical exhaustion that comes from experiencing high levels of stress for prolonged periods. Stress in itself is not inherently a harmful thing in a short term sense, and is even an inevitable element of our work and personal lives. It is a vital warning system from the body that alerts you when the brain perceives a potential threat. Healthy levels of stress assist you in accomplishing tasks and even boost memory. But there can come a time when stress becomes problematic and you have exhausted your ability to cope. When the brain becomes flooded with stress and anxiety for too long, burnout occurs. While burnout can take many forms, it indicates one thing - your lifestyle is unsustainable. So what can we do to prevent it?
Finding the motivation to go to the gym, or go running or cycling or whatever type of exercise you’re in to, can be difficult sometimes, we all know that. We’ve also all see the quotes that the fitness influencers throw at us like; “when you need motivation, remember why you started” and such. But, why do we place so much emphasis on the starting reason being looks? Why is it so often about “improving the way our bodies look?”
A bit like coffee shops and hair salons, yoga seems to be everywhere. Do you feel that too? But the great thing about this practice is that no class is really ever the same.
If you’ve not practised yoga before or if you perhaps feel as though it might not be for you, then my advice to you is to persevere and keep experiencing and experimenting with different classes - there will absolutely be one just for you.
Written as I sit with a glass of wine in one hand, a packet of chocolate within arms reach and the same happy, healthy feeling that I have when I swap that for water and a sweat towel. How? Because I’ve learnt (unfortunately through many a breakdown, relapse and guilt ridden outburst) that true wellness lies in more than just food restriction and smashing out high intensity workouts.
Burpees and diet plans can play a huge role in your fitness and health goals and I love a good high intensity interval session as much as the next person. But, it really only takes one (maybe ten or eleven) injuries/burnouts to know that there has to be more. So, this is me giving you an early heads up that I didn’t get or possibly just didn’t listen to.
Sometimes, despite the best of our efforts, life can leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of centre or just off balance, and when that happens we often hear the word detox being thrown around. We’re not just talking about a detox in relation to nourishment, whilst of course, that can be part of it. But what about all the other factors in your life that make up you?
Before we dive into the specifics, what does the word detox mean to you? By definition to detox is to rid ourselves of unspecified toxins or substances which have accumulated in the body which may have both short and long term consequences on our health and wellbeing.
Art and science approach and explain emotions differently. Scientists don’t ask the ‘why’ we feel the way that we do, but rather focus on ‘what’ or ‘how’, proceeding with scientific method. When it comes to emotions, a scientist will look at what is going on in the brain, valuing measurable and logical patterns within the brain and behaviour. Artists are more interested in emotional expression, more willing to trust personal experience. Considering this, some may be led to think that emotions have no place in the realm of science. However, I have a difficult time accepting that emotions can ever responsibly be discussed while neglecting some scientific analysis.
They say we are creatures of habit. Now I may not be entirely sure who ‘they’ are, but I would agree that it is undeniable that humans do thrive in routines. We would not be able to reap the benefits of a functioning society if we did not adhere to rules, times, schedules and apply some level of discipline to them. It is through consistent practice that any person becomes good at any skill. To become educated or responsibly trained to work in a field, we must adhere to a schedule that allows us to do something over and over again until we become comprehensive in that field.
If there is a food, a product, ritual, trend or even an interpretive dance that’s rumoured to be good for your skin, believe me, I have tried it.
Having battled with my skin for most of my life I know how much it can affect your mood, self-confidence, emotions and every single thing you do every single day. It’s our face after all, the first thing people see, the way people recognise us and we want our awesome smiling personality to shine through it. We don’t want to be known as the one with the spots, redness or the dry skin. But, if you have skin issues it can really put you in a down mood and it can be so difficult to find products and a skin care regime that work for you.
You are wired to be a problem solver. For survival purposes, the human brain is built to focus on what is ‘wrong’ in efforts to eliminate the issue. When we identify something as being wrong, our attention becomes directed to that problem as we seek out ways to either solve the issue or cope with it.
While this can be helpful, it can also become detrimental to the way we view ourselves and others. This can easily teach us to reframe our thinking in way that trains us to seek out what is ‘wrong’.
If there was a healthy magical supply of energy that we could reach for whenever we needed a pick me up, we would be grabbing at it with all possible hands, right? Well, then this next read is for you - how to get energised whenever and wherever. Before the gym, in the middle of your workout, in the morning before work, important social occasion after a full day of work? I’ve got you covered.
The word vulnerability and truth have been two words that come up a lot for me this week. I've sat with some deep lessons and integrations that have shifted a part of my soul.
But what does it mean to be vulnerable? To be vulnerable can be defined as exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, be it physically or emotionally.
My question to you is how often do you allow yourself to feel vulnerable? How often do you allow yourself to be and feel, truly seen by yourself or those around you? It’s not something we practice or even know how to feel into, without expressing or experiencing fear. We tend to shut the vulnerability down and out before it has a chance to even be felt or heard. Often through fear of opening the flood gates and not being able to close them again.
The first thing that needs to be understood about your decisions is that it is a valuable resource. One of the greatest favours we can do for ourselves is to take time to understand that our time, effort and personal experience is valuable. For this reason, the choices we are faced with can weigh heavily on us. As their importance becomes emphasised, proportionately so does our stress surrounding those decisions.