Do we keep going until we break?

So, let me quickly set the scene; I am sat on a beach watching the glistening sea, drinking my ice-cold beer and enjoying the sun in Cape Verde. Absolute paradise, and the image we all have when we think of tranquillity and relaxation to get away from the real world.

I knew I needed a holiday

I hadn’t been away for over 18 months on a ‘beach holiday’ I expected to struggle to switch off and relax. Well the first few days of my 11-night getaway I did struggle, I was waking up at the usual 5 am and feeling anxious if I didn’t check my phone every 2 minutes or get at least 2 fitness sessions in during the day. I made a conscious effort to avoid these daily habits, and instead bought into yoga sessions offered by the hotel morning and night on the beach. This practice of exercise, meditation and relaxation was relatively new to my body and mind.

Listen to your body

After just a few days of switching off and practising the art of yoga I started to switch off;
unfortunately for me my body decided to shut down completely! I woke up on day 5 of my holiday and literally could not get out of bed; now we had enjoyed 1 or 2 drinks the night before but nowhere near enough to make me feel like this! I fought it off and persisted to make it to our morning yoga session. I managed to complete the 1-hour class however every part of my body ached and felt weaker than normal. The following few hours I slowly deteriorated until I was bed ridden for the following 24 hours. The only way I can describe the feeling I had was I was ‘broken’ and my body was forcing me to rest and recover. This feeling continued for another half a day and gradually faded as I began to unwind and allow my body to come back to a state of homeostasis.

I continued to practice yoga through my holiday and began to
enjoy the sessions both physically and psychologically. Now the months leading up to my holiday were probably the same as most people’s preparation, best lose some weight and look the best I can look if I’m to spend time on a beach. However, this
was a chronic build-up of stress and lack of rest. My body was literally at ‘breaking point’ by the time I reached my holiday, and unfortunately for me decided to snap whilst I was away.

If I’m been totally honest this really hit a nerve with me, as in my job I encourage looking after your health and well-being through diet and exercise; but not so much through mindfulness and switching of from work properly!

Lessons learnt

If I am to take anything away from this experience, it is that no matter how busy and stressful our lives are we need to make time for ourselves through whatever means suit your lifestyle. I personally will continue to practice yoga when I return to the UK as I believe this will benefit my body and teach me to control my stress levels through meditation.

I will aim to write a follow up to this blog in a few months to see where I am physically and mentally.

Thanks for reading.


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