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The valuable lesson I learnt from burnout.

In early 2017 my business partners and I opened our second gym facility in North London. We were elated, but it came at a cost.

We had overstretched ourselves, and over time I started experiencing symptoms of burnout. These symptoms included physical exhaustion, hypervigilance and even sensations of dissociation from my body.

On top of this, I was training on a 5-day-a-week Bulgarian weightlifting program (those who know, know!) that was physically pushing me to my limit regularly.

The build-up of unmanaged stress and over-exercise was exhausting me physically and mentally, eventually culminating in an injury that forced me to stop training altogether.

My training was put on hold, and I was forced to rest and reset. During this time, I started to pay close attention to all the small stuff to aid my recovery, such as sleep timing and quality, hydration, food quality and, most importantly, stress management.

Simultaneously we reorganised our business systems and increased our team size to help with the business's new demands, giving me back significant time in my day.

This experience took me from a "more is better" to a "smarter is better" attitude: smarter working, smarter training, smarter lifestyle practices. I was now on a path towards optimal health and well-being.

I started to notice in conversation with our members that the stress in their life was impacting their lifestyle choices and behaviours, which unsurprisingly was having a HUGE knock-on effect on their training results plus physical, mental and emotional well-being in general.

When experiencing high stress in your day-to-day, compounding that stress through hard training (flooding the body with adrenaline and cortisol) can add even more fuel to the fire. Sadly, this is rarely spoken about or known, and people blindly continue to (literally) run themselves into the ground.

The problem is we're conditioned to believe that more is better. Our culture rewards the do-ers, but the overdoing is slowly killing us.

Many people reading this will quickly dismiss the notion that less is more, but think about this: How are you showing up as a partner, parent, boss or friend when you're maxed out and living in a permanent state of stress?

When provided with the right conditions, our body and mind naturally return to a state of wellness. When we operate from this place, we can live our lives to the fullest.

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