We all love that feeling of pure euphoria when you’ve accomplished a huge goal. Maybe it’s a bodybuilding competition or an intense dance performance – or it could be as simple as completing a 12-week training session. Either way, the benefits are endless as you emotionally and physically bask in the satisfaction of victory.
But what happens next?
You’ve conquered your goal, but what is the next stage? In order to take control of your life and the endless possibilities it offers, you need to be strategic and think about your next steps. Otherwise, you could welcome a burn out ...
Last year, I completed my first full 42km marathon. I trained solidly for a year, running in the weekends and limiting myself to certain foods (which made eating out an anxious experience). I was on a mission; it encompassed my whole being and sense of purpose.
I hadn’t even considered what would happen after the marathon.
Because of this, I went from Hero to Zero. A few months later, I realised that I was suffering from burn out, and needed to get myself back on track.
Burn out is described by Help Guide as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, constant stress, or a feeling of bring overwhelmed.”
When you’re over-stressed, you can still see the light at the end of the tunnel. But when you’re burnt out, the light is very dim, and the length of the tunnel continues to grow. In extreme cases you may even isolate yourself, struggle for your sense of purpose and ultimately find yourself on the road to depression. (If you, or any friends or family need urgent assistance with this please call Life Line Australia on 13 11 14)
Post-marathon, I’d blobbed out, developed unhealthy habits, and suddenly didn’t really like the people around me. I finally understood the importance of healthy habits and having a sense of purpose and gratitude.
Will I run another marathon? Absolutely. Because on the whole journey, I’ll be checking in with myself, aligning with my sense of purpose and using these five pillars to a healthy, motivated life:
How to get started again after a burn out
1. Plan to succeed
Conquer your mission daily with strategic planning
What is your mission, who do you want to be known as, and what are you doing daily to achieve this?
One of my biggest trip-ups was not planning what to do post-marathon. Plans take time and constant change.
You may realise, for example, while training for a marathon that you’d actually prefer to do a triathlon. That’s perfect! While training for the marathon, I was so distracted about crossing the finish line, that I forgot to look at the bigger picture: a healthy lifestyle. Now, every Sunday I check in with myself and break down large tasks to spread them across the week.
Here are some amazing tips and even an app to help you with weekly planning and goal setting.
2.Self care and gratitude
Tell yourself right now one thing that you are thankful for.
Self care and gratitude are imperative, and the relationship you have with yourself is the most important. Every morning and evening I take time practise gratitude and self-love. We are incredible, wonderful human beings, and it’s important to appreciate ourselves. Practising gratitude will will recharge and invigorate you, so that after conquering your goals you will have the energy to be thankful and embrace what follows next.
We love Smiling Mind, a free app to try Mindfulness Mediation - whether you have five minutes or an hour. And here is a simple guide to get started writing your own gratitude journal.
Nourishing from the inside
What is your relationship with food? Do you eat food that nourishes your body, or do you go for short-term highs?
I went from a restricted diet to an all-you-can-eat diet within days. It was pretty gross, and I know now that it was because I had an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead of nourishing and listening to my body, I ate with my eyes all of the sugar and junk within reach. Savouring and enjoying a variety of different foods will ensure a positive move here - and, no kidding, it actually does taste better!
Here is a great healthy eating plan - it's wonderfully balanced, too.
Do what feels good!
How do you love to move?
Exercise comes in various forms and movements, and we are so thankful for this that it's the cornerstone of our clothing range! It’s great to mix yoga into some weight training with a little bit of running. Whatever your style is, it’s important to make sure you get at least thirty minutes a day. This will help you clear your mind and get your blood pumping!
Fitness Blender is a great resource of free, unlimited videos of exercises that you can do at home. And be sure to check out your community halls for any other free or discounted classes.
Build a community and embrace new experiences
How to spend your spare time?
In order to incorporate balance, it’s important to regularly tap into your passion. If you love painting, take time out daily to practice this. If you’re unsure of your passion, take time to play with a new style, or do some knitting or writing
Most important of all, take some friends with you! Together you’ll enjoy exploring and finding out what you like, and don’t like …
Building this social community at the same time will help you support others while being supported in your goals.
Is there someone you haven’t spoken to in a while? Maybe now is the time to reach out!
Because we are all wonderfully unique, these are not hard and fast rules. Please, comment below on how you achieve your goals - how do you practise certain habits daily or reflect on your progress?