One thing I learnt during my years as a fitness and personal trainer was the importance of Rest and Recovery, to allow the muscles the opportunity to do their thing, and that thing you want them to do. Whether this was to build size, endurance or strength, for whatever it is you needed these things for, you not only had to put in the hard yards, the hard work, time and effort, but you also had to take some time to NOT do anything, to let them have a day off.
Without that day off, you significantly lessened your chances of your muscles, your body, making improvements; to be as strong, fast, efficient, enduring as you wanted them to be.
Going at it all the time, with no down town, was pointless and had the opposite result of that which you were aiming for.
Your mind is no different. It needs down time, too. Sleep deprivation, ‘burning the candle at both ends’, trying to do too much or fit too much in, stress and pressure are just like doing a hard workout day in and day out, no down time or rest days.
After some time, just like your muscles become fatigued and don’t function as well, so too does your brain. Biceps become weak and picking things up can be a struggle. So, too, does the ability to think coherently, to make suitable decisions, to remember what you were doing and the ability to string a sentence together.
A tired mind can lead to stupid mistakes, dropping things, walking into things, become intolerant, angry and even more stressed. A perpetually downward spiral, where you just try to do more to make up for all the mistakes and time lost because you couldn’t think properly.
I make it a point to go away for a night or two each year. On my own. No kids, no husband, no friends and no obligations. I make sure I don’t make plans to meet anyone or catch up whilst I’m ‘out’ for a few days.
I keep my options open, my only plan is to sit, in my pyjamas, and do nothing else, although I take runners, a small amount of work and a selection of chick lit and chick flicks “just in case”.
Except, aside from Mums’ Night Out, which doesn’t count, because that is work and I have somewhere between 10 and 15 fabulous friends with me, I haven’t had time away since 2010.
The last few years have been tough, and the last few months, particularly last November, with two deaths and an attempted suicide amongst friends in the space of a week, and more recently being forced to make some tough decisions, my mind has hit that level of fatigue and exhaustion which I , quite inadvertently, due to fatigue, stated was “Tafigued”.
This word, I think, adequately portrays just how fatigued I am right now.
I just want to be left alone right now. I’m tired.
Thanks to the kindness of friends, I am taking a few days off.
On my own, by myself, no kids, no husband, no friends, no obligations, no meetings, no plans … just me and a couple of options open.
Of course, packing for such a thing; wanting to keep options open but not obliged to do anything is difficult. I