There is mental exhaustion and there is physical exhaustion. Both can and will affect your health and wellness. 2-a-days and #nodaysoff are great and all but sometimes your body needs and deserves a break. 5-hour energy drinks because you didn’t get 7-8 hours of sleep? Too cool for counting sheep? That mental block you are experiencing can very well be a consequence of not enough zzz’s. Keep the following signs in mind when you are debating whether the sluggish feeling you are experiencing is exhaustion.
Feeling foggy – “No sleep” equals “no good”. Sleep allows the body to stabilize any chemicals that are off balance in the body. It allows your body the time needed to reset in the absence of physical movement. Your brain takes this time to process memories and information obtained throughout the day. It is crucial that you enter REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) so that this can happen.
Your workouts/training sessions are a no go – Not only are you unable to perform at your best during your workouts, but you find yourself skipping them. Missing out on rest can cause your entire health and wellness journey to come to a screeching halt. Without proper rest, you will not be able to adapt to the stress of your workout and train your body to take on new challenges.
Super stressed – Not quite the super hero power you want to have. Stress is normal and can be healthy to a certain extent. However, when you are overly stressed it can cause sleep loss and anxiety of varying degrees. High stress levels can cause your heart rate to increase and affect your breathing patterns. Not ideal at all!
Oh she glows no more - Your once lustrous hair skin and nails have lost their will to shine. Your skin becomes irritated, dry and rough to the touch. This is an external manifestation of your bodies inability to balance out internal chemicals and reset. It is important that you increase your hydration and help flush out some of the toxic buildup in your body caused by a lack of rest and mental clarity. Not taking a multi vitamin? Start! It's not a complete solution but will at least help your body get some of those nutrients that are lacking in your diet causing you to feel sluggish. Ultimately at the end of the day your "beauty sleep" and a well balanced diet will help to bring your glowing groove back.
Visible signs of inflammation and bloating - Stomach feeling tender to the touch? Aching joints? All can be signs that your body isn't getting the stimulation it needs. To help this process along until you get rested try dry brushing. A method of stimulation for the lymphatic system. This supports the body in waste and toxin elimination. Take an exfoliating brush and brush from the ankles up towards your heart and from the arms down towards your heart. Make sure to research the benefits of this and also for added instructions on how to do it. Stretching out the body through yoga can also help relieve tension and some of the bloating sensations as you gently massage all of your internal organs and focus on controlling your breathing. This will also help to relax you mentally and can support restful sleep.
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